Power Structuralism

Power Structuralism in a nutshell is the view that everything in the world is capable of interacting with entities in its environment. Such capacities for interaction between objects explain all that happens in nature. Of these capacities some are fundamental, and some are derivative from the fundamental ones; for instance, the capacity to attract is fundamental, but the capacity to lift a weight is derivative, if lifting occurs by attracting, e.g. by using a magnet. Powers are the capacities that entities have to interact with other entities, to bring about change; e.g. a point-charge is a power, or a string is a power; if they are not interacting, they are powers in potentiality, i.e. abilities to interact with other powers in certain ways; if they are interacting, they bring about change, giving rise to different powers and thus changing the causal profile of the world.

One of the important advantages of Power Structuralism for the present Project is that by being based on a notion that is as elementary and non-committal as that of a power it is open to experimenting with various further notions as derived ones within it. Such notions as that of ‘entity’, or of ‘state of affairs’, or of ‘process’, ‘event’, and even ‘relation’, all of which are fundamental in other systems, could be chosen as derived building blocks of Power Structuralism, being themselves built of powers. Nor does Power Structuralism presuppose any methodological or explanatory metaphysical principles, for example, that universal properties need to be posited to explain the occurrence of relations between entities; such freedom allows Power Structuralism to set its own fundamental metaphysical principles as would best explain the observations of the phenomena.