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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

ISSN 1673-3436

ISSN 1673-355X(Online)

CN 11-5743/B

Postal Subscription Code 80-983

Front. Philos. China    2008, Vol. 3 Issue (2) : 294-306     DOI: 10.1007/s11466-008-0019-5
A critical analysis of structural realism
Institute of Science, Technology and Society, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
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Abstract  The epistemological version of structural realism, proposed by Cao Tianyu, has great influence in the philosophy of science. Syntheses has published a special volume discussing the topic. Cao criticizes anti-realism, as well as the epistemic and ontic versions of structural realism. From the concepts of structure, ontology, and construction, he analyzes the objectivity of scientific theories as having five aspects: construction, historicity, holism, revision, and revolution. This paper systematically analyzes and comments on Cao’s structural realism. The author agrees with his criticism of the under-determination thesis, is neutral to his argument against ontological discontinuity, and questions his universal language argument.
Issue Date: 05 June 2008
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