SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • structural realism;
  • information;
  • structural empiricism;
  • Floridi;
  • French;
  • Ladyman;
  • van Fraassen

Abstract: According to Luciano Floridi (2008), informational structural realism provides a framework to reconcile the two main versions of realism about structure: the epistemic formulation (according to which all we can know is structure) and the ontic version (according to which structure is all there is). The reconciliation is achieved by introducing suitable levels of abstraction and by articulating a conception of structural objects in information-theoretic terms. In this essay, I argue that the proposed reconciliation works at the expense of realism. I then propose an alternative framework, in terms of partial structures, that offers a way of combining information and structure in a realist setting while still preserving the distinctive features of the two formulations of structural realism. Suitably interpreted, the proposed framework also makes room for an empiricist form of informational structuralism (structural empiricism). Pluralism then emerges.