Being Realist About Structures

  • Majid Davoody BeniEmail author
Part of the New Directions in Philosophy and Cognitive Science book series (NDPCS)


This chapter surveys the evolution of structural realism (SR), as a modified version of scientific realism. The problem of underdetermination of metaphysics by diverse theories of physics wreaks havoc with standard scientific realism. SR aims to overcome the problem of metaphysical underdetermination in a way that remains beyond the reach of object-oriented scientific realism. The chapter also outlines some important approaches to SR, for example, informational SR, and it elaborates on structural realists’ use of mathematical structures to regiment the representational content of the theories. Finally, I argue that because the theoretical diversity of the cognitive sciences distracts from realism about psychological phenomena, the projection of SR to the field of cognitive sciences as a strategy to reinforce realism about the self would be in order.


Scientific realism Antirealism Structural realism Underdetermination 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of History, Philosophy, and Religious StudiesNazarbayev UniversityNur-Sultan cityKazakhstan
  2. 2.The Amirkabir University of TechnologyTehranIran

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