The Dependence of Objects on Structure: Tailoring our Metaphysics to Fit the Physics

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French, Steven
preprint description
The composition of objects is a much discussed issue in metaphysics. In this paper I look at various approaches to this issue in the context of two examples: the relationship between ‘everyday’ objects, such as tables, and their constituent physical entities, and the relationship between structures and objects, from the perspective of structural realism. My aims are first, to defend forms of eliminativism in both cases, whereby one can still make statements about the entities to be eliminated (tables and objects, respectively); and second, to highlight some of the metaphysical moves that are available to the structuralist in articulating their ontology. In doing so I hope also to indicate how metaphysics and the philosophy of science can be brought into a more productive relationship.