Ontic Structural Realists hold that structure is all there is, or at least all there is fundamentally. This thesis has proved to be puzzling: what exactly does it say about the relationship between objects and structures? In this paper I look at different ways of articulating ontic structural realism in terms of the relation between structures and objects. I show that objects cannot be reduced to structures, and argue that ontological dependence cannot be used to establish strong forms of structural realism. At the end I show how a weaker, but controversial, form of structural realism can be articulated on the basis of ontological dependence.
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 2012 63(3); Penultimate Draft (pdf)