- Human pathology

Home > Resources in pathology > Concepts > structuralism


Saturday 25 February 2017

scientific structuralism, structuralistic theory


Definition : Structuralism is an active research program in the philosophy of science, which was first developed in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s by several analytic philosophers.

Structuralism asserts that all aspects of reality are best understood in terms of empirical scientific constructs of entities and their relations, rather than in terms of concrete entities in themselves.

For instance, the concept of matter should be interpreted not as an absolute property of nature in itself, but instead of how scientifically-grounded mathematical relations describe how the concept of matter interacts with other properties, whether that be in a broad sense such as the gravitational fields that mass produces or more empirically as how matter interacts with sense systems of the body to produce sensations such as weight.

Its aim is to comprise all important aspects of an empirical theory in one formal framework.


The proponents of this meta-theoretic theory are Bas van Fraassen, Frederick Suppe, Patrick Suppes, Ronald Giere, Joseph D. Sneed, Wolfgang Stegmüller, Carlos Ulises Moulines, Wolfgang Balzer, John Worrall, Elie Georges Zahar, Pablo Lorenzano, Otávio Bueno, Anjan Chakravartty, Tian Yu Cao, Steven French, and Michael Redhead.

The term "structural realism" for the variation of scientific realism motivated by structuralist arguments, was coined by American philosopher Grover Maxwell (es) in 1968.

In 1998, the British structural realist philosopher James Ladyman distinguished epistemic and ontic forms of structural realism.