Structural realism and metatheoretical structuralism


  • Juan Manuel Jaramillo Uribe Universidad de Quilmes



scientific realism, structural realism, metatheoretical structuralism, epistemic structural realism, ontic-structural realism


Structural realism, in response to criticism known as “pessimistic meta-induction”, argues for the persistence of the mathematical structure of the theories (not the content) in some cases (the limits) when there exist changes in their evolution, so that the success of subsequent theories is explained by the structural retention of previous theories. Although there is no monolithic point of view regarding the realism/anti-realism debate in meta-theoretical structuralism, in this paper we analyze and discuss, from this modelistic proposal, the validity of the central arguments of structural realism as an alternative to standard scientific realism. We follow the distinction of structural realism made by Ladyman between epistemic and ontic structural realism, and although in this paper we will provide a general description of the first, the analysis will focus primarily on the analysis and criticism in the second. To this end, we will use the tools provided by meta-structuralist theory in philosophy of science and, specifically, the identification made therein of theories as classes or sets of models and/or set-theoretic structures. Our purpose here is to clarify, from this meta-theoretical proposal, the basic assumptions of what Sneed called “minimal scientific realism” and its variant, epistemological structural realism, specifically as regards his notion of the proposed structural continuity and the suggestions made by some authors to an appeal to Ramsey’s judgment as justification of structural realism without reference.

= 250 veces | PDF (ESPAÑOL (ESPAÑA))
= 47 veces| | HTML (ESPAÑOL (ESPAÑA))
= 48 veces|


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Juan Manuel Jaramillo Uribe, Universidad de Quilmes

Grupo de Investigación Modelos y representaciones en las ciencias formales y fácticas, Análisis históricos y conceptuales, Buenos Aires, Argentina


BALZER, W., MOULINES, C. U. & SNEED, J. D. (1987) An Architectonica for Science. Reidel, Dordrecht.

BOYD, R. (1983): “On current Status of the Issue of Scientific Realism”, en: Erkenntnis 19, pp. 45-90.

CLARKE, S. & TIMOTHY, D. L. (eds.) (2002) Recent Themes in the Philosophy of Science. Scientific Realism and Commonsense. Netherlands, Dordrecht.

CRUCE, P. & PAPINEAU, D. (2002): “Scientific Realism without Reference”, en: Marsonet, M. (ed.). The Problem of Realism. Aldershot, Ashgate Publishing Co.

DÍEZ, J. y MOULINES, C. U. (1997) Fundamentos de filosofía de la ciencia. Barcelona, Ariel.

FRENCH, S. y LADYMAN, J. (1998) “Remodeling Structural Realism: Quantum Physics and the Metaphysics of Structure”, en: Synthese 36, 31-66.

FRENCH, S. y KRAUZE, D. (2006) Identity in Physics: A Historical Philosophical, and Formal Analysis. Oxford: Oxford U. P.

FRENCH, S. y SAATSI, J. (2006) “Realism about Structure: The Semantic View and Nonlinguistic Representation”, In: Philosophy of Science 73 (5): 548-559.

LADYMAN, J. (1998): “What is Structural Realism?”, en: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 29, 409-424.

KRAUZE, D. (2007) La metafísica de la no individualidad. Ensayo sobre la indiscernibilidad de los quanta. Florianápolis (versión preliminar en medio magnético).

MOULINES, C.U. (1991) Pluralidad y recursión. Estudios epistemológicos. Madrid, Alianza.

NEWMAN, M. (2005) “Ramsey-Sentence Realism as an Answer to the Pessimistic Meta-Induction”, en: Philosophy of Science 72 (5): 1373-1384.

PÉREZ, A. R. (1985) “El concepto de teoría empírica de van Fraassen”, en: Crítica, vol. XVII, No. 51, México.

POINCARÉ, H. (1905) La Valeur de la science (Versión en inglés: Poincaré, H. (1952) The Value of Science. New York, Dover). Paris, Flammarion.

PSILLOS, S. (1999) Scientific Realism: How Science Tracks Truth. London, Routledge.

PSILLOS, S. (2001) “Is Structural Realism Possible?”, en: Philosophy of Science 68 (Proceedings), S13-S24.

PUTNAM, H. (1975) Philosophical papers, vol. 1: Mathematics, Matter and Method, Cambridge U. P.

RIVADULLA, A. (2010) “Two dogmas of Structural Realism. A confirmation of a philosophical death foretold”, en: Crítica, Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía, Vol. 42, No. 124 (abril 2010), pp. 3-29.

RUSSELL, B. ([1992) Analysis of Matter. London, George Allen & Unwin.

SMART, J. J. C. (1963) Philosophy and Scientific Realism. London, Routledge.

SMART, J. J. C. (1979) “Difficulties for Realism in the Philosophy of Science”, en: Cohen, L. J. et al. (eds.), Logic, Methodology and the Philosophy of Science VI. Amsterdam, North-Holland Publishing Co.

STEGMÜLLER, W. (1981) La concepción estructuralista de las teorías. Madrid, Alianza.

SNEED, J. D. (1983): “Structuralism and Scientific Realism”, Erkenntnis 19, 345-370.

WORRALL, J. (1989): “Structural Realism: The Best of Both Worlds?”, Dialectica, 43, 99-124 (Reimpreso en Papineau, D. (1996): The philosophy of science, Oxford, Oxford U.P.).

VAN FRAASSEN, B. C. (1980): The Scientific Image, Oxford, Oxford U. P.



How to Cite

Jaramillo Uribe, J. M. (2014). Structural realism and metatheoretical structuralism. Estudios De Filosofía, (50), 171–193.



Original or Research articles

Similar Articles

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 > >> 

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.