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Profile: Andrew Melnyk (University of Missouri)
  1. Andrew Melnyk (2014). Pereboom's Robust Non-Reductive Physicalism. Erkenntnis 79:1191-1207.
    Derk Pereboom has recently elaborated a formulation of non-reductive physicalism in which supervenience does not play the central role and realization plays no role at all; he calls his formulation “robust non-reductive physicalism”. This paper argues that for several reasons robust non-reductive physicalism is inadequate as a formulation of physicalism: it can only rule out fundamental laws of physical-to-mental emergence by stipulating that there are no such laws; it fails to entail the supervenience of the mental on the physical; it (...)
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  2. Andrew Melnyk (2014). Review of Robert's Kirk's, 'The Conceptual Link From Physical to Mental'. [REVIEW] Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (3):596-599.
    Review of Robert Kirk's The Conceptual Link From Physical To Mental (Oxford University Press, 2013).
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  3. Andrew Melnyk (2010). Comments on Sydney Shoemaker's 'Physical Realization'. Philosophical Studies 148 (1):113 - 123.
    This paper concerns Sydney Shoemaker's view, presented in his book, Physical Realization (Oxford University Press, 2007), of how mental properties are realized by physical properties. That view aims to avoid the "too many minds" problem to which he seems to be led by his further view that human persons are not token-identical with their bodies. The paper interprets and criticizes Shoemaker's view.
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  4. Andrew Melnyk (2010). What Do Philosophers Know? [REVIEW] Grazer Philosophische Studien 80 (1):297-307.
    This is a critical notice of Timothy Williamson's, The Philosophy of Philosophy (Blackwell, 2007). It focuses on criticizing the book's two main positive proposals: that we should “replace true belief by knowledge in a principle of charity constitutive of content”, and that “the epistemology of metaphysically modal thinking is tantamount to a special case of the epistemology of counterfactual thinking”.
     
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  5. Andrew Melnyk (2009). Naturalism as a Philosophical Paradigm. Philo 12 (2):188-199.
    I develop the conjecture that “naturalism” in philosophy names not a thesis but a paradigm in something like Thomas Kuhn’s sense, i.e., a set of commitments, shared by a group of investigators, whose acceptance by the members of the group powerfully influences their day-to-day investigative practice. I take a stab at spelling out the shared commitments that make up naturalism, and the logical and evidential relations among them.
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  6. Andrew Melnyk (2009). Review of Galen Strawson, 'Real Materialism and Other Essays'. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (08/01).
    This is a review of Galen Strawson's Real Materialism And Other Essays (Oxford University Press, 2008). It focuses on reconstructing and criticizing his "realistic materialism", a view that many philosophers will regard as a form of panpsychism.
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  7. Andrew Melnyk (2009). Realization Realized. Philosophical Books 50 (3):185-195.
    This is a critical study of Sydney Shoemaker's, Physical Realization (Oxford University Press, 2007). It focuses on (i) the relationship between his subset theory of realization and the higher-order property theory of realization, and (ii) his attempt to solve the problem of mental causation.
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  8. Andrew Melnyk (2008). Conceptual and Linguistic Analysis: A Two-Step Program. Noûs 42 (2):267–291.
    This paper argues against both conceptual and linguistic analysis as sources of a priori knowledge. The key claim is that none of the main views about what concepts are can underwrite the possibility of such knowledge.
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  9. Andrew Melnyk (2008). Can Physicalism Be Non-Reductive? Philosophy Compass 3 (6):1281-1296.
    Can physicalism (or materialism) be non-reductive? I provide an opinionated survey of the debate on this question. I suggest that attempts to formulate non-reductive physicalism by appeal to claims of event identity, supervenience, or realization have produced doctrines that fail either to be physicalist or to be non-reductive. Then I treat in more detail a recent attempt to formulate non-reductive physicalism by Derk Pereboom, but argue that it fares no better.
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  10. Andrew Melnyk (2008). Philosophy and the Study of its History. Metaphilosophy 39 (2):203–219.
    This article's goal is to outline one approach to providing a principled answer to the question of what is the proper relationship between philosophy and the study of philosophy's history, a question arising, for example, in the design of a curriculum for graduate students. This approach requires empirical investigation of philosophizing past and present, and thus takes philosophy as an object of study in something like the way that contemporary (naturalistic) philosophy of science takes science as an object of study. (...)
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  11. Andrew Melnyk, A Case For Physicalism About The Human Mind. God or Blind Nature? Philosophers Debate the Evidence.
    The first of three contributions to an e-book in which I debated Stewart Goetz and Charles Taliaferro on the question whether the human mind is material. I said that it is, and they said that it isn't. The article is meant to be intelligible to an educated general audience. In this first contribution, I present a simplified version of the argument for physicalism based on the neural dependence of mental phenomena.
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  12. Andrew Melnyk, Naturalism, Free Choices, And Conscious Experiences. God or Blind Nature? Philosophers Debate the Evidence.
    The third of three contributions to an e-book in which I debated Stewart Goetz and Charles Taliaferro on the question whether the human mind is material. I said that it is, and they said that it isn't. The article is meant to be intelligible to an educated general audience. In this third contribution, I reply to the claim of Goetz and Taliaferro that naturalism (i.e., anti-supernaturalism) cannot accommodate free choices and conscious experience.
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  13. Andrew Melnyk, Physicalism and the First-Person Point of View: A Reply To Taliaferro and Goetz. God or Blind Nature? Philosophers Debate the Evidence.
    The second of three contributions to an e-book in which I debated Stewart Goetz and Charles Taliaferro on the question whether the human mind is material. I said that it is, and they said that it isn't. The article is meant to be intelligible to an educated general audience. In this second contribution, I criticize the appeals to introspection that Goetz and Taliaferro make to support their dualism.
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  14. Andrew Melnyk (2006). Functionalism and Psychological Reductionism: Friends, Not Foes. In Maurice Schouten & Huib Looren de Jong (eds.), The Matter of the Mind: Philosophical Essays on Psychology, Neuroscience and Reduction. Blackwell. 31-50.
    The paper argues that a broadly functionalist picture of psychological phenomena is quite consistent with at least one interesting thesis of psychological reductionism.
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  15. Andrew Melnyk (2006). Realization and the Formulation of Physicalism. Philosophical Studies 131 (1):127-55.
    Twenty years ago, Richard Boyd suggested that physicalism could be formulated by appeal to a notion of realization, with no appeal to the identity of the non-physical with the physical. In (Melnyk 2003), I developed this suggestion at length, on the basis of one particular account of realization. I now ask what happens if you try to formulate physicalism on the basis of other accounts of realization, accounts due to LePore and Loewer and to Shoemaker. Having explored two new formulations (...)
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  16. Andrew Melnyk (2005). Review of Jaegwon Kim, Physicalism, or Something Near Enough. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2005 (07-17).
    This is a review of Jaegwon Kim's Physicalism, Or Something Near Enough (Princeton University Press, 2005). It focuses on (i) his claim that mental properties can be causally efficacious only if they are, in a certain sense, functionally reducible to the physical and (ii) his criticisms of best-explanation arguments for physicalism as advocated by, e.g., Christopher Hill and Brian McLaughlin.
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  17. Andrew Melnyk (2004). Rea on Naturalism. Philo 7 (2):131-137.
    My goal in this paper is to provide critical discussion of Michael Rea’s case for three of the controversial theses defended in his World Without Design (Oxford University Press, 2002): (1) that naturalism must be viewed as what he calls a “research program”; (2) that naturalism “cannot be adopted on the basis of evidence,” as he puts it; and (3) that naturalists cannot be justified in accepting realism about material objects.
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  18. Andrew Melnyk (2004). Review of Michael Rea's, 'World Without Design: The Ontological Consequences of Naturalism'. [REVIEW] Mind 113 (451):575-581.
    Substantial review of Michael Rea's, World without design: the ontological consequences of naturalism. It is an improved version of my paper, "Rea On Naturalism" in Philo, 2004, revised in light of Rea's comments on the earlier paper. The discussion focuses on Rea’s case for three of his theses: that naturalism must be viewed as a ‘research programme’; that naturalism ‘cannot be adopted on the basis of evidence’, as he puts it; and that naturalists cannot be justified in accepting realism about (...)
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  19. Andrew Melnyk (2003). A Physicalist Manifesto: Thoroughly Modern Materialism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    A Physicalist Manifesto is the fullest treatment yet of the comprehensive physicalist view that, in some important sense, everything is physical. Andrew Melnyk argues that the view is best formulated by appeal to a carefully worked-out notion of realization, rather than supervenience; that, so formulated, physicalism must be importantly reductionist; that it need not repudiate causal and explanatory claims framed in non-physical language; and that it has the a posteriori epistemic status of a broad-scope scientific hypothesis. Two concluding chapters argue (...)
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  20. Andrew Melnyk (2003). Some Evidence for Physicalism. In Sven Walter & Heinz-Dieter Heckmann (eds.), Physicalism and Mental Causation. Imprint Academic. 155-172.
    This paper presents an irreducibly inductive argument for physicalism based on the causal closure of the physical (for which it argues), and defends it against various detractors.
     
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  21. Andrew Melnyk (2002). Physicalism. In Stephen P. Stich & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Blackwell Guide to Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell. 573-587.
    Written with a student audience in mind, this article surveys the issues raises by the attempt to formulate, argue for, and explore the implications of a comprehensively physicalist view of the world.
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  22. Nathan Salmon, Andrew Melnyk, Trenton Merricks, John Stuart Mill, Matt Millen, Ruth G. Millikan, Piet Mondrian, Isaac Newton, David Owens & David Papineau (2002). Ramsey 311,314 Rembrandt 388 Rosenberg, Alexander Xxi Ross, WD. 274. In Jaegwon Kim (ed.), Supervenience. Ashgate. 397.
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  23. Andrew Melnyk (2001). Physicalism Unfalsified: Chalmers' Inconclusive Argument for Dualism. In Carl Gillett & Barry M. Loewer (eds.), Physicalism and its Discontents. Cambridge University Press. 331-349.
    This paper aims to show that David Chalmers' conceivability (or zombie, or two-dimensional) argument against physicalism, as presented in his 1996 book, The Conscious Mind, is inconclusive. The key point is that, while the argument seems to assume that someone competent with a given concept thereby has access to the primary intension of the concept, there are physicalist-friendly views of conceptual competence which imply that this assumption is not true.
     
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  24. Andrew Melnyk (2001). Physicalism Unfalsified, Chalmer's Inconclusive Conceivability Argument. In Carl Gillett & Barry M. Loewer (eds.), Physicalism and its Discontents. Cambridge University Press.
     
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  25. Andrew Melnyk (1999). Elias E. Savellos and Ümit D. Yalçin (Eds.) Supervenience: New Essay (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 1995)Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. [REVIEW] Noûs 33 (1):144–154.
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  26. Andrew Melnyk (1999). Review: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. [REVIEW] Noûs 33 (1):144 - 154.
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  27. Andrew Melnyk (1998). The Prospects for Kirk's Nonreductive Physicalism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (2):323-32.
    Using the notion of strict implication, Robert Kirk claims to have formulated a version of physicalism which is nonreductive. I argue that, depending on how his notion of strict implication is interpreted, Kirk's formulation either fails to be physicalist or else commits him to reductionism. Either way we do not have nonreductive physicalism. I also suggest that the reductionism to which Kirk is committed, though unfashionable, is unobjectionable.
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  28. Andrew Melnyk (1997). How to Keep the 'Physical' in Physicalism. Journal of Philosophy 94 (12):622-637.
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  29. Andrew Melnyk (1997). On the Metaphysical Utility of Claims of Global Supervenience. Philosophical Studies 87 (3):277-308.
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  30. Andrew Melnyk (1996). Formulating Physicalism: Two Suggestions. Synthese 105 (3):381-407.
    Two ways are considered of formulating a version of retentive physicalism, the view that in some important sense everything is physical, even though there do exist properties, e.g. higher-level scientific ones, which cannot be type-identified with physical properties. The first way makes use of disjunction, but is rejected on the grounds that the results yield claims that are either false or insufficiently materialist. The second way, realisation physicalism, appeals to the correlative notions of a functional property and its realisation, and (...)
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  31. Andrew Melnyk (1996). Searle's Abstract Argument Against Strong AI. Synthese 108 (3):391-419.
    Discussion of Searle's case against strong AI has usually focused upon his Chinese Room thought-experiment. In this paper, however, I expound and then try to refute what I call his abstract argument against strong AI, an argument which turns upon quite general considerations concerning programs, syntax, and semantics, and which seems not to depend on intuitions about the Chinese Room. I claim that this argument fails, since it assumes one particular account of what a program is. I suggest an alternative (...)
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  32. Andrew Melnyk (1996). Testament of a Recovering Eliminativist. Philosophy of Science 63 (3):S185-S193.
    If physicalism is true (e.g., if every event is a fundamental-physical event), then it looks as if there is a fundamental-physical explanation of everything. If so, then what is to become of special scientific explanations? They seem to be excluded by the fundamental-physical ones, and indeed to be excellent candidates for elimination. I argue that, if physicalism is true, there probably is a fundamental-physical explanation of everything, but that nevertheless there can perfectly well be special scientific explanations as well, notwithstanding (...)
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  33. Andrew Melnyk (1996). The Prospects for Dretske's Account of the Explanatory Role of Belief. Mind and Language 11 (2):203-15.
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  34. Andrew Melnyk (1995). Physicalism, Ordinary Objects, and Identity. Journal of Philosophical Research 20:221-235.
    Any philosopher sympathetic to physicaIism (or materiaIism) will allow that there is some sense in which ordinary objects---tables and chairs, etc.---are physicaI. But what sense, exactly? John Post holds a view implying that every ordinary object is identical with some or other spatio-temporal sum of fundamental entities. I begin by deploying a modal argument intended to show that ordinary objects, for example elephants, are not identical with spatio-temporal sums of such entities. Then I claim that appeal to David Lewis’s counterpart (...)
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  35. Andrew Melnyk (1995). Two Cheers for Reductionism, or, the Dim Prospects for Nonreductive Materialism. Philosophy of Science 62 (3):370-88.
    I argue that a certain version of physicalism, which is viewed by both its admirers and its detractors as non-reductionist, in fact entails two claims which, though not reductionist in the currently most popular sense of 'reductionist', conform to the spirit of reductionism sufficiently closely to compromise its claim to be a comprehensively non-reductionist version of physicalism. Putatively non-reductionist versions of physicalism in general, I suggest, are likely to be non-reductionist only in some senses, but not in others, and hence (...)
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  36. Andrew Melnyk (1994). Being a Physicalist: How and (More Importantly) Why. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 74 (2):221-241.
  37. Andrew Melnyk (1994). Inference to the Best Explanation and Other Minds. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 72 (4):482-91.
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  38. Andrew Melnyk (1994). Philosophical Applications of Cognitive Science. Review of Metaphysics 48 (2):404-405.
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  39. Andrew Melnyk (1994). Representation, Meaning, and Thought. Review of Metaphysics 48 (1):137-138.
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  40. Andrew Melnyk (1991). Physicalism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 51 (3):573 - 587.
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  41. Andrew Melnyk (1991). Physicalism: From Supervenience to Elimination. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 51 (September):573-87.
    Supervenience physicalism holds that all facts, of whatever type, globally supervene upon the physical facts, even though neither type-type nor token-token nonphysical-physical identities hold. I argue that, invoked like this, supervenience is metaphysically mysterious, needing explanation. I reject two explanations (Lewis and Forrest). I argue that the best explanation of the appearance of supervenience is an error-theoretic, projectivist one: there are no nonphysical properties, but we erroneously project such onto the physical world in a systematic way, yielding the appearance of (...)
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  42. Andrew Melnyk (1989). Is There a Formal Argument Against Positive Rights? Philosophical Studies 55 (2):205 - 209.
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