Structural realism - the search for a bearer of reality

pages: 610-624

  • Milutin Stojanović Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade
Keywords: realism, pessimistic meta-induction, scientific-theory change, structure, electromagnetism, symmetries, invariability, scientific methodology


In the last two decades the old debate concerning reality of science shifted from questions regarding scientific entities to questions regarding scientific structures. I will present and assess advantages and drawback of this new realists’ focus on structures, and at the same time analyze the wider picture of development of the scientific realism. The structural realism will be tackled in the form encountered in works of John Worrall and James Ladyman. Special attention will be devoted to the relationship of their solutions to the argument based on the scientific revolutions - the pessimistic meta-induction. I will argue that these realist’s strategies are not sufficiently convincing to steer us to make a leap in ontology and presume the existence of meta-physical structure (regardless of the question is it scientifically relevant) - in the first place because neither one of them manages to satisfactorily identify a structure, however general, which accumulates in the scientific-theory change. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. OI179041: Dinamički sistemi u pirodi i društvu: filozofski i empirijski aspekti]


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