Group structural realism

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British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, ISSN: 0007-0882, Vol: 62, Issue: 1, Page: 47-69

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Roberts, Bryan W.
Oxford University Press (OUP)
Arts and Humanities
article description
We present a precise form of structural realism, called group structural realism, which identifies 'structure' in quantum theory with symmetry groups. However, working out the details of this view actually illuminates a major problem for structural realism; namely, a structure can itself have structure. This article argues that, once a precise characterization of structure is given, the 'metaphysical hierarchy' on which group structural realism rests is overly extravagant and ultimately unmotivated. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science. All rights reserved.