AuthorGlick, David A.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractWhat stance should we take toward our best scientific theories? Traditionally, there have been two answers: realism and antirealism. Structural realism is an attempt to find middle-ground between these two views. Rather than accept everything our best theories seem to say about the world, the structural realist endorses only what those theories tell us about the structure of the world. I argue that switching the focus to structure allows the realist to better deal with problems of theory-change, and to better make sense of contemporary physics. I go on to offer a specific version of structural realism based on an understanding of structures as networks of relations between objects that are nothing more than places in structures. My view allows that there are objects and relations, but reverses the usual order of dependence: objects depend on relations rather than the other way around.
Degree ProgramGraduate College