The Structure of the World: Metaphysics and Representation (Paperback)
  • The Structure of the World: Metaphysics and Representation (Paperback)
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The Structure of the World: Metaphysics and Representation (Paperback)

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Paperback 416 Pages / Published: 01/12/2016
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In The Structure of the World, Steven French articulates and defends the bold claim that there are no objects. At the most fundamental level, modern physics presents us with a world of structures and making sense of that view is the central aim of the increasingly widespread position known as structural realism. Drawing on contemporary work in metaphysics and philosophy of science, as well as the 'forgotten' history of structural realism itself, French attempts to further ground and develop this position. He argues that structural realism offers the best way of balancing our need to accommodate the results of modern science with our desire to arrive at an appropriately informed understanding of the world that science presents to us. Covering not only the realism-antirealism debate, the nature of representation, and the relationship between metaphysics and science, The Structure of the World defends a form of eliminativism about objects that sets laws and symmetry principles at the heart of ontology. In place of a world of microscopic objects banging into one another and governed by the laws of physics, it offers a world of laws and symmetries, on which determinate physical properties are dependent. In presenting this account, French also tackles the distinction between mathematical and physical structures, the nature of laws, and causality in the context of modern physics, and he concludes by exploring the extent to which structural realism can be extended into chemistry and biology.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198776666
Number of pages: 416
Weight: 624 g
Dimensions: 235 x 158 x 23 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
[T]his superb defence of OSR deserves to be considered French's magnum opus. The book should be lauded for its scope, detail, and scientific sophistication. The intricacies of the view will be most accessible to those with a background in physics, but the discussion is of interest to those who work in metaphysics and philosophy of science broadly and should be required reading for those interested in scientific realism specifically. * Lisa Leininger, Philosophical Quarterly *
this book does a great service to the community in fully laying out the case for - a radical, ontic - structural realism. It is a must for everyone interested in the philosophy of physics and the metaphysics of science in general. * Michael Esfeld, Mind *
The book is extraordinary in its depth, breadth, and exhaustiveness and leaves no part of the modern debate on structuralism and structural realism unexamined . . . It does not fall short of high expectations and provides strong motivation for further developments in structuralist metaphysics of science. * Thomas Meier, International Studies in the Philosophy of Science *
superb . . . this is an extremely rich and fascinating book, well worth reading. * Alyssa Ney, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews *

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