Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Structure and Identity

The Arts and Humanities Research Council funded Foundations of Structuralism Project will host a major international conference this Summer that may be of interest to many subscribers to this blog (and please forward and post elsewhere as appropriate).

Structure and Identity

July 23rd-25th 2010, University of Bristol
Confirmed speakers include:
John Burgess
Katherine Hawley
Fraser MacBride
Charles Parsons
Simon Saunders
Stewart Shapiro

There will also be a programme of contributed papers. If you are interested in giving a paper please send a title and abstract of 500 words by 10th April 2010 to James Ladyman (james.ladyman@bristol.ac.uk)

To book your place please email Jess Dunton (j.dunton@bristol.ac.uk)

Questions to be addressed include:

  • How is structuralism best characterised?:
  • In terms of incompleteness (objects lack certain kinds of properties)?
  • In terms of dependence (objects depend on each other or their structure for their existence and/or identity)?
  • In terms of contextual individuation (objects are individuated relationally rather than intrinsically)?
  • How are these characterizations related?
  • Are structuralist views in metaphysics, for example, concerning properties and dispositions, justified?
  • Does a structuralist view of mathematics provide the best account of mathematical practice and the ontology and epistemology of mathematics?
  • Are elementary particles individuals? Do they satisfy the principle of the identity of indiscernibles?
  • What are criteria of identity, and what adequacy conditions are appropriate for them?
  • Should we be committed to some form of predicativity requirement and/or some form of identity of indiscernibles? What is individuation?
  • Do we need a substantive account of how objects are individuated?
  • How should the various metaphysical notions of dependence be analysed? What role will the notions of individuation and criteria of identity play in this analysis?
  • What are the relations between notions of entity, object, individual, and substance? What implications would structuralism have for these notions?
  • How does structuralism relate to ontological holism and to the thesis that there is no fundamental level to reality?
  • What is the relationship between primitive identity or haecceity and haecceitism about worlds?

It is anticipated that a volume of papers from the conference will be published.