Structural scientific realism in the contemporary philosophical debate. Open issues and recent developments


  • Valeria Ascheri Pontificia Università della Santa Croce, Roma



The article presents and explores structural scientific realism (RS), proposed by John Worrall (1989), placing it in the context of the philosophy of science of the '900 and then analyzing the debate that followed and that led to the definition two versions, the epistemic one (RSE) and the ontic one (RSO).

The notion of structure, which plays a fundamental role in Worrall's proposal, but not well studied, seems to open up an interesting space for reflection: on the one hand, it leads from the epistemological investigation to the more radical one, which aims to define a new metaphysics and an ontology of the realities studied and, on the other hand, more particularly it seems to connect with the category of Aristotelian matrix relationship, with the concept of system or even that of process, up to an interesting confrontation with some aspects of contemporary scientific research, such as quantum physics. In conclusion, it is mentioned that structural realism leads, in one of its developments, to the elaboration of an ontology of (relational) or procedural relationships and not, or not primarily, of entities and entities.





Metaphysics, epistemology and science