Ontic Structuralism and the Symmetries of Particle Physics

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The present paper argues that the typical structuralist claims according to which invariances, symmetries and the like are fundamental — especially in physics — should not be understood in terms of physical relations being fundamental.

The view is developed in some detail, in particular by showing that i symmetric ontological dependence does not necessarily lead to uninformative metaphysical explanations, and ii metaphysical coherentism strikes the best balance between the requirements of naturalism and those of theoretical consistency — especially in view of the difficulties that structuralists seem to have in accounting for all state-independent properties of particles in relational terms.

On this basis, the coherentist picture is applied to the interpretation of the quantum domain, and contrasted with extant varieties of structuralism, of both the eliminative and the non-eliminative sort, and holism.

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Revision history. From the Publisher via CrossRef no proxy link. Configure custom resolver. The Structure of the World: Metaphysics and Representation.

Steven French - - Oxford University Press. What is Structural Realism?

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Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Has French met the challenge in this book? The localizability condition is the essential ingredient of the particle concept: A particle—in contrast to a field—cannot be found in two disjoint spatial sets at the same time. Retrieved September 15, Group theory in the development of structuralism deserves further historical analysis. This is a standard metaphysical position that implies nothing so radical as any version of OSR. Ultimately it seems that there must be more to the world than what French countenances as structure.

Thinking about mathematics: The philosophy of mathematics - Observation of Dirac monopoles in a synthetic magnetic field - Ray, M. Nature no. Fifty years of Yang-Mills theory - World Scientific, Singapore.

The gauge argument - Weinberg, S.. The making of the standard model - Wigner, E..

On unitary representations of the inhomogeneous Lorentz group -