A possible answer to Newman’s objection from the perspective of informational structural realism

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Abstract

This paper aims to reconstruct a possible answer to the classical Newman’s objection which has been used countless times to argue against structural realism. The reconstruction starts from the new strand of structural realism - informational structural realism - authored by Luciano Floridi. Newman’s objection had previously stated that all propositions which comprise the mathematical structures are merely trivial truths and can be instantiated by multiple models. This paper examines whether informational structural realism can overcome this objection by analysing the previous attempts to answer this objection, attempts which either try to save the ramseyfication of mathematical propositions or give up on it. The informational structural realism way is to attempt a third way, the neo-Kantian way inspired by the work of Ernst Cassirer, but also to change the formalism from a mathematical to an informational one. This paper shows how this original combination of neo-Kantianism, informational formalism and the method of levels of abstraction provide the tools to overcome Newman’s objection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-318
Number of pages12
JournalRevue Roumaine de Philosophie
Volume59
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Information
  • Levels of abstraction
  • Luciano floridi
  • Model theory
  • Newman’s objection
  • Philosophy of information
  • Ramseyfication
  • Structural realism

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