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Journal Article

Is Structural Realism Possible?

Stathis Psillos
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 68, No. 3, Supplement: Proceedings of the 2000 Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association. Part I: Contributed Papers (Sep., 2001), pp. S13-S24
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3080931
Page Count: 12
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Is Structural Realism Possible?
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Abstract

This paper examines in detail two paths that lead to Structural Realism (SR), viz. a substantive philosophical position which asserts that only the structure of the world is knowable. The upward path is any attempt to begin with empiricist premises and reach a sustainable realist position. (It has been advocated by Russell, Weyl, and Maxwell among others.) The downward path is any attempt to start from realist premises and construct a weaker realist position. (It has been recently advocated by Worrall, French, and Ladyman.) This paper unravels and criticizes the metaphysical presuppositions of both paths to SR. It questions its very possibility as a substantive-and viable-realist thesis.

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