Reduction and Ontic Structural Realism

Document Type : Scientific-research


Assistant Professor in Research Institute for Basic Studies of Science and Technology, Shahid Beheshti University


Scientific reduction is one of the most important issues in philosophy of science, which is related to other ones, including scientific realism. In this paper, by taking a clear position on the "concept of reduction" and the "approach to reduction," which we have called "the structural-a priori approach at a specific time," we examine whether or not the limit relations and structural relationships between the two theories hold. Also, by assuming ontic structural realism, explicitly stating the semantic aspect of the reduction, and assuming establishing its epistemological aspect, we respond to the two objections raised against the structuralist approach. These two objections are one resulting from Schaffner's theorem and the other from the ontological considerations. We show that none of them are related to "the structural-a priori approach at a specific time." We also argue that Schaffner's theorem does not undermine the structuralist approach in the general sense, and that ontological objection undermines only at the exorbitant cost of less plausible metaphysical hypotheses; That is, objections can be considered only on the basis of metaphysical hypotheses such as substance, thisness, intrinsic property, haecceity (or something like these); Assumptions that cost more to accept than to accept a structuralist approach.


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