A minimal construal of scientific structuralism

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Brading, Katherine; Landry, Elaine
conference paper description
The focus of this paper is the recent revival of interest in structuralist approaches to science and, in particular, the structural realist position in philosophy of science . The challenge facing scientific structuralists is three-fold: i) to characterize scientific theories in ‘structural’ terms, and to use this characterization ii) to establish a theory-world connection (including an explanation of applicability) and iii) to address the relationship of ‘structural continuity’ between predecessor and successor theories. Our aim is to appeal to the notion of shared structure between models to reconsider all of these challenges, and, in so doing, to classify the varieties of scientific structuralism and to offer a ‘minimal’ construal that is best viewed from a methodological stance.