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Understanding Russell's Response to Newman

Pashby, Thomas (2015) Understanding Russell's Response to Newman. In: UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

Russell's nonchalant response to Newman's apparently devastating critique of his structural realism presents a puzzle: if Russell conceded the point (as most have assumed) why did he not alter his theory or address the problem in print? I argue that Newman had merely pointed out an ambiguity in the formulation of Russell's theory in Analysis of Matter, and Russell already had the resources to avoid the problem through his contention that some relations are perceived. This concession gives his criterion of structural equivalence enough empirical purchase to avoid Newman's triviality objection without the need to make stronger claims of knowledge of external relations than are present in Analysis of Matter. This provides a precise criterion of structural equivalence that explains exactly how the structural realist may escape Newman's objection by taking relations in intension.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Pashby, Thomastom.pashby@gmail.com
Keywords: Russell, Newman, Newman objection, Newman problem, structural realism, relations, Analysis of Matter
Subjects: General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Structure of Theories
Depositing User: Dr. Thomas Pashby
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2015 12:29
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2015 12:29
Item ID: 11696
Subjects: General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Structure of Theories
Date: September 2015
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/11696

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