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The Philosophy of Information$
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Luciano Floridi

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199232383

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199232383.001.0001

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A defence of informational structural realism

A defence of informational structural realism

Chapter:
(p.339) 15 A defence of informational structural realism
Source:
The Philosophy of Information
Author(s):

Luciano Floridi (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199232383.003.0015

This final chapter defends an informational ontology, referred to as Informational Structural Realism (ISR). As a form of realism, ISR is committed to the existence of a mind-independent reality addressed by, and constraining, knowledge. ISR supports the adoption of levels of abstraction that carry a minimal ontological commitment in favour of the structural properties of reality and a reflective, equally minimal, ontological commitment in favour of structural objects. However, unlike other versions of structural realism, ISR supports an informational interpretation of these structural objects. This second commitment, in favour of structural relata, is justified by epistemic reasons. We are allowed to commit ourselves ontologically to whatever minimal conception of objects is useful to make sense of our first commitment in favour of structures. The first commitment answers the question ‘what can we know?’; the second commitment answers the question ‘what can we justifiably assume to be in the external world?’.

Keywords:   epistemic structural realism, informational ontology, levels of abstraction, ontic structural realism, structural realism

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