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A Defence of Informational Structural Realism

Floridi, Luciano (2007) A Defence of Informational Structural Realism. [Preprint]

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    Abstract

    This is the revised version of an invited keynote lecture delivered at the 1st Australian Computing and Philosophy Conference (CAP@AU; the Australian National University in Canberra, 31 October – 2 November, 2003). The paper is divided into two parts. The first part defends an informational approach to structural realism. It does so in three steps. First, it is shown that, within the debate about structural realism (SR), epistemic (ESR) and ontic (OSR) structural realism are reconcilable. It follows that a version of OSR is defensible from a structuralist-friendly position. Second, it is argued that a version of OSR is also plausible, because not all relata (structured entities) are logically prior to relations (structures). Third, it is shown that a version of OSR is also applicable to both sub-observable (unobservable and instrumentally-only observable) and observable entities, by developing its ontology of structural objects in terms of informational objects. The outcome is informational structural realism, a version of OSR supporting the ontological commitment to a view of the world as the totality of informational objects dynamically interacting with each other. The paper has been discussed by several colleagues and, in the second half, ten objections that have been moved to the proposal are answered in order to clarify it further.


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    Item Type: Preprint
    Additional Information: Accepted for publication in Synthese
    Keywords: Epistemic structural realism; informational ontology; levels of abstraction; ontic structural realism; structural realism.
    Subjects: General Issues > Models and Idealization
    Specific Sciences > Computation/Information > Classical
    General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
    Depositing User: Luciano Floridi
    Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2007
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:14
    Item ID: 3144
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/3144

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