Epistemic Informational Structural Realism


MINDS AND MACHINES, vol.26, no.4, pp.323-339, 2016 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 26 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11023-016-9403-4
  • Journal Name: MINDS AND MACHINES
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.323-339
  • Keywords: Information, Informational structural realism, Floridi, Epistemic structural realism, Ontic structural realism, Levels of abstraction, DIGITAL ONTOLOGY, DEFENSE


The paper surveys Floridi's attempt for laying down informational structural realism (ISR). After considering a number of reactions to the pars destruens of Floridi's attack on the digital ontology, I show that Floridi's enterprise for enriching the ISR by borrowing elements from the ontic form of structural realism (in the pars construens) is blighted by a haunting inconsistency. ISR has been originally developed by Floridi as a restricted and level dependent form of structural realism which remains mainly bonded within the borders of a Kantian perspective. I argue that this perspective doesn't mesh nicely with the ontic interpretation that Floridi attached to the ISR. I substantiate this claim through the assessment of Floridi's strategy for reconciling the epistemic and ontic forms of the SR, as well as by close examination of his use of method of levels of abstraction and his notion of semantic information. My proposal is that the ISR could be defended best against the mentioned and similar objections by being interpreted as an extension of the epistemic SR.