Blurring

structural realism and the Wigner Puzzle

Alexander James Gillett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Investigating the metaphysical problem of nature requires engaging with philosophy of science. Arguments in this field, combined with metaphysical underdetermination problems in fundamental physics, have given rise to a sophisticated form of scientific realism called ontic structural realism; and the re-conceptualisation of metaphysics in terms of structures. This transforms the problem of nature into the dissolution of the distinction between mathematical and physical structures (what we shall call the ―blurring problem‖). To date, there has been an insufficient exploration of this problem in the literature because it has been deemed unscientific. This essay demonstrates that the problem is legitimate, important, and connects with a wider issue in the philosophy of mathematics—namely, the problem of applicability of mathematics to the sciences‘ investigation of nature (the Wigner Puzzle).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-52
Number of pages20
JournalPolish Journal of Philosophy
Volume6
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

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