What is matter? The fundamental ontology of atomism and structural realism

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Esfeld, Michael; Deckert, Dirk-André; Oldofredi, Andrea
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preprint description
We set out a fundamental ontology of atomism in terms of matter points. While being most parsimonious, this ontology is able to match both classical and quantum mechanics, and it remains a viable option for any future theory of cosmology that goes beyond current quantum physics. The matter points are structurally individuated: all there is to them are the spatial relations in which they stand; neither a commitment to intrinsic properties nor to an absolute space is required. The spatial relations change. All that is needed to capture change is a dynamical structure, namely dynamical relations as expressed in terms of the dynamical parameters of a physical theory.