Do objects depend on structures?

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Ontic structural realists hold that structure is all there is, or at least all there is fundamentally. This thesis has proved to be puzzling: What exactly does it say about the relationship between objects and structures? In this article, I look at different ways of articulating ontic structural realism in terms of the relation between structures and objects. I show that objects cannot be reduced to structure, and argue that ontological dependence cannot be used to establish strong forms of structural realism. At the end, I show how a weaker, but controversial, form of structural realism can be articulated on the basis of ontological dependence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-625
JournalThe British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2012

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