Beefing Up Recipe Realism: Stir a Pinch of Metaphysics into the Pot

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French, Steven
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Recent developments in the scientific realism debate have resulted in a form of ‘exemplar driven’ realism that eschews general ‘recipes’ and instead focuses on the specific, ‘local’ reasons for adopting a realist stance in particular theoretical contexts. Here I suggest that such a move highlights even more sharply the need for the realist to incorporate a health dose of metaphysics in her position, particularly when it comes to the theories associated with modern physics. Turning to another set of recent developments, having to do with the relationship between metaphysics and science, I argue that the exemplar driven realist can appropriate certain current metaphysical devices to help make concrete her commitments. Specifically I focus on a kind of exemplar based structural realism and examine the adequacy of, first, the determinables-determinate relationship as presented by Wilson and, second, Paul’s ‘one category ontology, as such devices within this framework.