Structural Realism and Abductive-Transcendental Arguments

  • Holger Lyre
Part of the The Western Ontario Series In Philosophy of Science book series (WONS, volume 74)

Abstract

The paper deals with an attempt to present an “abductive-transcendental” argument in favour of a particular version of structural realism (SR), dubbed Intermediate SR. In the first part of the paper the general structure of transcendental arguments is scrutinized with a close view on Kant's original version and the prospect of their abductive variation. Then the role of symmetries in modern physics, especially symmetries without real instantiations and in particular gauge symmetries is discussed. This is combined with a presentation of SR as a promising current version of scientific realism. The discussion is supported by various arguments from gauge theories in modern physics. Intermediate SR, a realist position about all and only structurally derivable entities located between the extremes of Epistemic and Ontic SR turns out as the best fit to our current fundamental gauge physics and this finally leads to an abductive-transcendental reasoning concerning this position.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. M. Esfeld (2004): Quantum Entanglement and a Metaphysics of Relations. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 35(4):601–617.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. S. French (1998): On the Withering Away of Physical Objects. In: Interpreting Bodies: Classical and Quantum Objects in Modern Physics, ed. E. Castellani. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, pp. 93–113.Google Scholar
  3. S. French and J. Ladyman (2003): Remodelling Structural Realism: Quantum Physics and the Metaphysics of Structure. Synthese, 136(1):31–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. I. Kant. Kritik der reinen Vernunft. Riga, 1781 (B edition 1787). [Kant quotes and pages refer to:P. Guyer and A. W. Wood (eds.), I. Kant: Critique of Pure Reason. Cambridge University Press, 1998].Google Scholar
  5. I. Kant. Metaphysische Anfangsgrunde der Naturwissenschaft. Riga, 1786.Google Scholar
  6. I. Kant. Über eine Entdeckung nach der alle neue Kritik der reinen Vernunft durch eine ältere entbehrlich gemacht werden soll (“Streitschrift gegen Eberhard”). 1790.Google Scholar
  7. J. Ladyman (1998): What Is Structural Realism? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 29(3):409–424.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. H. Lyre (2004a): Lokale Symmetrien und Wirklichkeit. Mentis, Paderborn.Google Scholar
  9. H. Lyre (2004b): Holism and Structuralism in U(1) Gauge Theory. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 35(4):643–670.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. E. Scheibe (1997/1999): Die Reduktion physikalischer Theorien. 2 volumes, Springer, Berlin.Google Scholar
  11. J. Stachel (2002): ‘The Relations Between Things’ Versus ‘The Things Between Relations’: The Deeper Meaning of the Hole Argument. In: D. Malament (ed.), Reading Natural Philosophy:Essays in the History and Philosophy of Science and Mathematics. Open Court, La Salle, IL,pp. 231–266.Google Scholar
  12. J. Worrall (1989): Structural Realism: The Best of Both Worlds? Dialectica, 43:99–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Holger Lyre

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations