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Profile: Alyssa Ney (University of California, Davis)
  1. Alyssa Ney (2016). Microphysical Causation and the Case for Physicalism. Analytic Philosophy 57 (1):141-164.
    Physicalism is sometimes portrayed by its critics as a dogma, but there is an empirical argument for the position, one based on the accumulation of diverse microphysical causal explanations in physics, chemistry, and physiology. The canonical statement of this argument was presented in 2001 by David Papineau. The goal of this paper is to demonstrate a tension that arises between this way of understanding the empirical case for physicalism and a view that is becoming practically a received position in philosophy (...)
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  2. Alyssa Ney (forthcoming). Grounding in the Philosophy of Mind: A Defense. In Ken Aizawa Carl Gillett (ed.), Scientific Composition and Metaphysical Ground. Palgrave Macmillan
  3. Alyssa Ney, Finding the World in the Wave Function: Some Strategies for Solving the Macro-Object Problem.
    We look at some strategies for solving the macro-object problem for wave function realism. This is the problem of finding an account of the existence of macroscopic objects assuming a metaphysics in which objects in space-time are not fundamental; rather what is fundamental is the quantum wave function, a field characterized by an assignment of values to points in a much different kind of space, one adequate to realizing the full range of possible quantum pure states. -/- .
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  4. Alyssa Ney & David Z. Albert (eds.) (2013). The Wave Function: Essays in the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics. Oxford University Press.
    This is a new volume of original essays on the metaphysics of quantum mechanics. The essays address questions such as: What fundamental metaphysics is best motivated by quantum mechanics? What is the ontological status of the wave function? What is the nature of the fundamental space (or space-time manifold) of quantum mechanics?
     
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  5. Alyssa Ney (2012). Neo-Positivist Metaphysics. Philosophical Studies 160 (1):53-78.
    Some philosophers argue that many contemporary debates in metaphysics are “illegitimate,” “shallow,” or “trivial,” and that “contemporary analytic metaphysics, a professional activity engaged in by some extremely intelligent and morally serious people, fails to qualify as part of the enlightened pursuit of objective truth, and should be discontinued” (Ladyman and Ross, Every thing must go: Metaphysics naturalized , 2007 ). Many of these critics are explicit about their sympathies with Rudolf Carnap and his circle, calling themselves ‘neo-positivists’ or ‘neo-Carnapians.’ Yet (...)
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  6. Alyssa Ney (2008). Defining Physicalism. Philosophy Compass 3 (5):1033-1048.
    This article discusses recent disagreements over the correct formulation of physicalism. Although there appears to be a consensus outside those who discuss the issue that physicalists believe that what exists is what is countenanced by physics, as we will see, this orthodoxy faces an important puzzle now frequently referred to as 'Hempel's Dilemma'. After surveying the historical trajectory from Enlightenment-era materialism to contemporary physicalism, I examine several mainstream approaches that respond to Hempel's dilemma, and the benefits and drawbacks of each.
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  7. Alyssa Ney (2012). The Status of Our Ordinary Three Dimensions in a Quantum Universe 1. Noûs 46 (3):525-560.
    There are now several, realist versions of quantum mechanics on offer. On their most straightforward, ontological interpretation, these theories require the existence of an object, the wavefunction, which inhabits an extremely high-dimensional space known as configuration space. This raises the question of how the ordinary three-dimensional space of our acquaintance fits into the ontology of quantum mechanics. Recently, two strategies to address this question have emerged. First, Tim Maudlin, Valia Allori, and her collaborators argue that what I have just called (...)
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  8.  50
    Alyssa Ney (2014). Review of Steven French * The Structure of the World. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2014.
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    Alyssa Ney (2015). Fundamental Physical Ontologies and the Constraint of Empirical Coherence: A Defense of Wave Function Realism. Synthese 192 (10):3105-3124.
    This paper defends wave function realism against the charge that the view is empirically incoherent because our evidence for quantum theory involves facts about objects in three-dimensional space or space-time . It also criticizes previous attempts to defend wave function realism against this charge by claiming that the wave function is capable of grounding local beables as elements of a derivative ontology.
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  10. Alyssa Ney (2009). Physical Causation and Difference-Making. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (4):737-764.
    This paper examines the relationship between physical theories of causation and theories of difference-making. It is plausible to think that such theories are compatible with one another as they are aimed at different targets: the former, an empirical account of actual causal relations; the latter, an account that will capture the truth of most of our ordinary causal claims. The question then becomes: what is the relationship between physical causation and difference-making? Is one kind of causal fact more fundamental than (...)
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  11.  66
    Alyssa Ney & Kathryn Phillips (2013). Does an Adequate Physical Theory Demand a Primitive Ontology? Philosophy of Science 80 (3):454-474.
  12.  99
    Alyssa Ney (2007). Can an Appeal to Constitution Solve the Exclusion Problem? Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (4):486–506.
    Jaegwon Kim has argued that unless mental events are reducible to subvening physical events, they are at best overdeterminers of their effects. Recently, nonreductive physicalists have endorsed this consequence claiming that the relationship between mental events and their physical bases is tight enough to render any such overdetermination nonredundant, and hence benign. I focus on instances of this strategy that appeal to the notion of constitution. Ultimately, I argue that there is no way to understand the relationship between irreducible mental (...)
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  13. Alyssa Ney (2013). Ontological Reduction and the Wave Function Ontology. In Alyssa Ney & David Z. Albert (eds.), The Wave Function: Essays on the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics. Oxford University Press 168-183.
     
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  14. Alyssa Ney (2008). Physicalism as an Attitude. Philosophical Studies 138 (1):1 - 15.
    It is widely noted that physicalism, taken as the doctrine that the world contains just what physics says it contains, faces a dilemma which, some like Tim Crane and D.H. Mellor have argued, shows that “physicalism is the wrong answer to an essentially trivial question”. I argue that both problematic horns of this dilemma drop out if one takes physicalism not to be a doctrine of the kind that might be true, false, or trivial, but instead an attitude or oath (...)
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  15. Alyssa Ney (2007). Physicalism and Our Knowledge of Intrinsic Properties. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (1):41 – 60.
    that the properties of science are purely extrinsic with the metaphysical principle that substances must also have intrinsic properties, the arguments reach the conclusion that there are intrinsic properties of whose natures we cannot know. It is the goal of this paper to establish that such arguments are not just ironic but extremely problematic. The optimistic physicalist principles that help get the argument off the ground ultimately undermine any justification the premises give for acceptance of the conclusion. Though I do (...)
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  16. Alyssa Ney (2010). Are There Fundamental Intrinsic Properties? In Allan Hazlett (ed.), New Waves in Metaphysics. Palgrave-Macmillan 219--39.
  17. Alyssa Ney (2011). Tim Maudlin * The Metaphysics Within Physics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (3):683-689.
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  18.  47
    Alyssa Ney (2014). John Heil the Universe as We Find It. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (4):881-886.
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  19. Alyssa Ney (2015). A Physicalist Critique of Russellian Monism. In Torin Alter Yujin Nagasawa (ed.), Consciousness in the Physical World. Oxford University Press 346-369.
     
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  20.  31
    Alyssa Ney (2012). The Causal Contribution of Mental Events. In Hill Christopher & Gozzano Simone (eds.), New Perspectives on Type Identity: The Mental and the Physical. Cambridge University Press 230.
  21.  9
    David Albert & Alyssa Ney (eds.) (2013). The Wave Function: Essays in the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics. Oxford University Press Usa.
    This is a volume of original essays on the metaphysics of quantum mechanics. The essays address questions such as: What fundamental metaphysics is best motivated by quantum mechanics? What is the ontological status of the wave function? Does quantum mechanics support the existence of any other fundamental entities, e.g. particles? What is the nature of the fundamental space (or space-time manifold) of quantum mechanics? What is the relationship between the fundamental ontology of quantum mechanics and ordinary, macroscopic objects like tables, (...)
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  22.  63
    Alyssa Ney (2010). Convergence on the Problem of Mental Causation: Shoemaker's Strategy for (Nonreductive?) Physicalists. Philosophical Issues 20 (1):438-445.
  23. Alyssa Ney & David Z. Albert (eds.) (2013). The Wave Function: Essays on the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics. Oxford University Press Usa.
    This is a new volume of original essays on the metaphysics of quantum mechanics. The essays address questions such as: What fundamental metaphysics is best motivated by quantum mechanics? What is the ontological status of the wave function? Does quantum mechanics support the existence of any other fundamental entities, e.g. particles? What is the nature of the fundamental space of quantum mechanics? What is the relationship between the fundamental ontology of quantum mechanics and ordinary, macroscopic objects like tables, chairs, and (...)
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  24. Justin Garson, Yasha Rohwer, Collin Rice, Matteo Colombo, Peter Brössel, Davide Rizza, Simon M. Huttegger, Richard Healey, Alyssa Ney & Kathryn Phillips (2013). 10. Referees for Philosophy of Science Referees for Philosophy of Science (Pp. 479-482). Philosophy of Science 80 (3).
     
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  25. Alyssa Ney (2014). Metaphysics: An Introduction. Routledge.
    Metaphysics: An Introduction combines comprehensive coverage of the core elements of metaphysics with contemporary and lively debates within the subject. It provides a rigorous and yet accessible overview of a rich array of topics , connecting the abstract nature of metaphysics with the real world. Topics covered include: Basic logic for metaphysics An introduction to ontologyobjects Material objects Critiques of metaphysics Free Will Time Modality Persistence Causation Social ontology: the metaphysics of race This outstanding book not only equips the reader (...)
     
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  26. Alyssa Ney (2014). Metaphysics: An Introduction. Routledge.
    Metaphysics: An Introduction combines comprehensive coverage of the core elements of metaphysics with contemporary and lively debates within the subject. It provides a rigorous and yet accessible overview of a rich array of topics, connecting the abstract nature of metaphysics with the real world. Topics covered include: Basic logic for metaphysics An introduction to ontologyobjects Material objects Critiques of metaphysics Free will Time Modality Persistence Causation Social ontology: the metaphysics of race This outstanding book not only equips the reader with (...)
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