The Structure of Reality and the Reality of Structure

The Structure of Reality

The most general features and principles, and the conceptual frameworks to discuss these form the subject-matter for metaphysics and for physics, our most general science. In this philosophical discourse, philosophy of reality (metaphysics), philosophy of knowledge (epistemology), philosophy of language, and philosophy of science, notably philosophy of physics, meet and interact. Structuralism is a key concept in the way we do things here at ESPhil. Constructing a theory of structure with structure as a primitive concept is one line of thought; another is devising a structuralist ontology for modern physics, and for mathematics.

Several research projects have been funded in past and present that squarely fall in this discourse:

  • The Structural View of Quantum-Electro-Dynamics (VENI-Project, NWO, 2001–2004, F.A. Muller).
  • A World of Structures (VIDI-Projects, NWO, 2004—2009, F.A. Muller, +1 PhD).
  • From Criticism to Methodology (Special Project, NWO, 2012—2017, F.A. Muller, +1 PhD, +3 post-docs; this project, on the history of scientific philosophy in The Netherlands, is also categorised in the area The Making of Modernity).
  • Getting Real about Words and Numbers (Special Project, NWO-FWO, 2015—2019, F.A. Muller, and E. Myin of University of Antwerp, 1 PhD, 1 post-doc; this project, on Enactivism in Epistemology, is also categorised in the area The Constitution of Subjectivity).
  • The Structure of Reality and the Reality of Structure (VICI-Project, NWO, 2014—, F.A. Muller, +1 post-doc, +2 PhDs: Geurt Sengers en Gijs Leegwater).
  • The Digital Turn in Epistemology (Humanities & ICT project, NWO, 2017—2021, F.A. Muller, in collaboration with Utrecht University, +3 PhDs).