Methodological Structural Realism

Chapter
Part of the The Western Ontario Series in Philosophy of Science book series (WONS, volume 77)

Abstract

Scientists believe in the existence of electrons, bosons, fermions, fields, forces, space-time, etc.; they, unlike their philosophical realist counterparts, do not believe, however, in the existence of phenomena or noumena, observables or unobservables, detection or auxiliary properties, etc. The aim of this paper is to carve out a naturalistic, or methodological, structuralist account that serves to underpin scientists’ belief in, for example, bosons and fermions via those structural properties or relations that are known by considering the shared structure between those models (both theoretical and data models) that are taken to present the content and structure of what we say about them as kinds of objects. With realism, the claim that such models represent the content and structure of what we say about this object as such a kind, resulting from the belief that it would be a miracle if the structure of the these kinds did not match some structure of the world. I will consider each aspect of this account in its turn.

Keywords

Scientific Theory Semantic View Logical Positivist Logical Empiricist Shared Structure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

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