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Profile: Andrew Melnyk (University of Missouri, Columbia)
  1. A Physicalist Manifesto: Thoroughly Modern Materialism.Andrew Melnyk - 2003 - Cambridge University Press.
    A Physicalist Manifesto is a full treatment 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 in (...)
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  2. Realization and the Formulation of Physicalism.Andrew Melnyk - 2006 - 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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  3. Can Physicalism Be Non-Reductive?Andrew Melnyk - 2008 - 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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  4. How to Keep the 'Physical' in Physicalism.Andrew Melnyk - 1997 - Journal of Philosophy 94 (12):622-637.
    This paper introduces the term "Hempel's Dilemma" to refer to the following challenge to any formulation of physicalism that appeals to the content of physics: if physical properties are those mentioned as such in current physics, then physicalism is probably false; but if they are those mentioned as such in a completed physics, then, since we have no idea what completed physics will look like, the resulting formulation of physicalism will lack content that is determinable by us now. It shows (...)
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  5. Being a Physicalist: How and (More Importantly) Why. [REVIEW]Andrew Melnyk - 1994 - Philosophical Studies 74 (2):221-241.
  6. Two Cheers for Reductionism, or, the Dim Prospects for Nonreductive Materialism.Andrew Melnyk - 1995 - 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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  7. Materialism.Andrew Melnyk - 2012 - Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews 3 (3):281-292.
    Materialism is nearly universally assumed by cognitive scientists. Intuitively, materialism says that a person’s mental states are nothing over and above his or her material states, while dualism denies this. Philosophers have introduced concepts (e.g., realization, supervenience) to assist in formulating the theses of materialism and dualism with more precision, and distinguished among importantly different versions of each view (e.g., eliminative materialism, substance dualism, emergentism). They have also clarified the logic of arguments that use empirical findings to support materialism. Finally, (...)
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  8.  85
    Can Metaphysics Be Naturalized? And If So, How?Andrew Melnyk - 2013 - In Don Ross, James Ladyman & Harold Kincaid (eds.), Scientific Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. pp. 79-95.
    This is a critical, but sympathetic, examination of the manifesto for naturalized metaphysics that forms the first chapter of James Ladyman and Don Ross's 2006 book, Every Thing Must Go, but it has wider implications than this description suggests.
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  9. Inference to the Best Explanation and Other Minds.Andrew Melnyk - 1994 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 72 (4):482-91.
    Robert Pargetter has argued that we know other minds through an inference to the best explanation. My aim is to show, by criticising Pargetter's account, that this approach to the problem of other minds cannot, as it stands, deliver the goods; it might be part of the right response to the problem, but it cannot be the whole story. More precisely, I will claim that Pargetter does not successfully reconstruct how ordinary people in everyday life come reasonably to believe in (...)
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  10. Realization and the Formulation of Physicalism.Andrew Melnyk - 2005 - Philosophical Studies 131 (1):127-155.
    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, 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 of physicalism, (...)
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  11. Physicalism Unfalsified, Chalmer's Inconclusive Conceivability Argument.Andrew Melnyk - 2001 - In Carl Gillett & Barry M. Loewer (eds.), Physicalism and its Discontents. Cambridge University Press.
     
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  12.  24
    Papineau on the Intuition of Distinctness.Andrew Melnyk - 2002 - SWIF Philosophy of Mind 4 (1).
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  13. How to Keep the 'Physical' in Physicalism.Andrew Melnyk - 1997 - Journal of Philosophy 94 (12):622.
  14. Searle's Abstract Argument Against Strong AI.Andrew Melnyk - 1996 - 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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  15. Conceptual and Linguistic Analysis: A Two-Step Program.Andrew Melnyk - 2008 - 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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  16.  40
    Some Evidence for Physicalism.Andrew Melnyk - 2003 - In Sven Walter & Heinz-Dieter Heckmann (eds.), Physicalism and Mental Causation. Imprint Academic. pp. 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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  17.  56
    Physicalism: From Supervenience to Elimination.Andrew Melnyk - 1991 - 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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  18.  37
    Realization Realized.Andrew Melnyk - 2009 - 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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  19. Review of Michael Rea's, 'World Without Design: The Ontological Consequences of Naturalism'. [REVIEW]Andrew Melnyk - 2004 - 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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  20.  55
    Pereboom's Robust Non-Reductive Physicalism.Andrew Melnyk - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (5):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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  21.  78
    Naturalism as a Philosophical Paradigm.Andrew Melnyk - 2009 - 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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  22.  15
    In Defense of a Realization Formulation of Physicalism.Andrew Melnyk - forthcoming - Topoi:1-11.
    In earlier work, I proposed and defended a formulation of physicalism that was distinctive in appealing to a carefully-defined relation of physical realization. Various philosophers have since presented challenges to this formulation. In the present paper, I aim to show that these challenges can be overcome.
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  23.  31
    Rea on Naturalism.Andrew Melnyk - 2004 - 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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  24.  25
    What Do Philosophers Know? A Critical Study of Williamson's "The Philosophy of Philosophy". [REVIEW]Andrew Melnyk - 2010 - 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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  25.  64
    Formulating Physicalism: Two Suggestions.Andrew Melnyk - 1995 - 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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  26.  84
    Comments on Sydney Shoemaker's 'Physical Realization'.Andrew Melnyk - 2010 - 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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  27.  73
    Physicalism.Andrew Melnyk - 2002 - In Stephen P. Stich & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. Blackwell. pp. 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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  28.  42
    Naturalism, Free Choices, And Conscious Experiences.Andrew Melnyk - 2007 - 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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  29.  61
    Review of Galen Strawson, 'Real Materialism and Other Essays'. [REVIEW]Andrew Melnyk - 2009 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (8/01).
    This is a review of Galen Strawson's Real Materialism And Other Essays. 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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  30.  56
    Testament of a Recovering Eliminativist.Andrew Melnyk - 1996 - 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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  31.  25
    On the Metaphysical Utility of Claims of Global Supervenience.Andrew Melnyk - 1997 - Philosophical Studies 87 (3):277-308.
    In this paper I pour a little cold water on claims of global supervenience, not by arguing that they are false, and not by arguing that they possess no philosophical utility whatsoever, but by building a case for the following conditional conclusion: if you expect claims of global supervenience to play a certain role in a certain metaphysical project, then you will be disappointed, since they cannot play such a role. The metaphysical project is to give an illuminating and suitably (...)
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  32.  21
    Review of Robert's Kirk's, 'The Conceptual Link From Physical to Mental'. [REVIEW]Andrew Melnyk - 2014 - 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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  33.  53
    Philosophy and the Study of its History.Andrew Melnyk - 2008 - 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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  34.  36
    A Case For Physicalism About The Human Mind.Andrew Melnyk - 2007 - 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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  35.  8
    Review: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. [REVIEW]Andrew Melnyk - 1999 - Noûs 33 (1):144 - 154.
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  36.  42
    Review of Jaegwon Kim, Physicalism, or Something Near Enough[REVIEW]Andrew Melnyk - 2005 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2005 (7-17).
    This is a review of Jaegwon Kim's Physicalism, Or Something Near Enough. It focuses on his claim that mental properties can be causally efficacious only if they are, in a certain sense, functionally reducible to the physical and his criticisms of best-explanation arguments for physicalism as advocated by, e.g., Christopher Hill and Brian McLaughlin.
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  37.  30
    Physicalism, Ordinary Objects, and Identity.Andrew Melnyk - 1995 - 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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  38.  6
    Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. A Critical Study of Elias E. Savellos and Umit D. Yalçin (Eds.) Supervenience: New Essays. [REVIEW]Andrew Melnyk - 1999 - Noûs 33 (1):144–154.
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  39.  12
    Physicalism.Andrew Melnyk - 1991 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 51 (3):573 - 587.
  40.  36
    Is There a Formal Argument Against Positive Rights?Andrew Melnyk - 1989 - Philosophical Studies 55 (2):205 - 209.
    Positive rights are, roughly, rights that one be provided with certain things; and so they entail obligations on others, not merely to refrain from interfering with the bearer of the rights, but to see to it that one gets whatever one has the rights to. An example of a positive right would be the right to a welfare minimum; the right, that is, to resources sufficient to satisfy basic physical needs. In this paper I criticise a couple of recent attempts (...)
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  41.  30
    The Prospects for Kirk's Nonreductive Physicalism.Andrew Melnyk - 1998 - 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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  42.  3
    Physicalism, Ordinary Objects, and Identity.Andrew Melnyk - 1995 - Journal of Philosophical Research 20:221-235.
    Any philosopher sympathetic to physicaIism 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 theory, even (...)
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  43.  11
    Review of Grant Gillett's "Representation, Meaning, and Thought". [REVIEW]Andrew Melnyk - 1994 - Review of Metaphysics 48 (1):137-138.
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  44.  17
    Physicalism and the First-Person Point of View: A Reply To Taliaferro and Goetz.Andrew Melnyk - 2007 - 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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  45.  23
    The Prospects for Dretske's Account of the Explanatory Role of Belief.Andrew Melnyk - 1996 - Mind and Language 11 (2):203-15.
    When a belief is cited as part of the explanation of an agent’s behaviour, it seems that the belief is explanatorily relevant in virtue of its content. In his Explaining Behavior, Dretske presents an account of belief, content, and explanation according to which this can be so. I supply some examples of beliefs whose explanatory relevance in virtue of content apparently cannot be accounted for in the Dretskean way. After considering some possible responses to this challenge, I end by discussing (...)
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  46.  8
    Review of Alvin Goldman's "Philosophical Applications of Cognitive Science". [REVIEW]Andrew Melnyk - 1994 - Review of Metaphysics 48 (2):404-405.
  47.  3
    Functionalism and Psychological Reductionism: Friends, Not Foes.Andrew Melnyk - 2006 - In Maurice Schouten & Huib Looren de Jong (eds.), The Matter of the Mind: Philosophical Essays on Psychology, Neuroscience and Reduction. Blackwell. pp. 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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  48.  1
    Comments on Sydney Shoemaker’s Physical Realization.Andrew Melnyk - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 148 (1):113-123.
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  49. Critical Study of Thomas Nagel's "The Last Word". [REVIEW]Andrew Melnyk - 1999 - Philosophical Books 40 (1):14-17.
     
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  50.  15
    One World and the Many Sciences: A Defence of Physicalism.Andrew Melnyk - 1991 - Dissertation, Oxford University
    The subject of this thesis is physicalism, understood not as some particular doctrine pertaining narrowly to the philosophy of mind, but rather as a quite general metaphysical claim to the effect that everything is, or is fundamentally, physical. Thus physicalism explicates the thought that in some sense physics is the basic science. The aim of the thesis is to defend a particular brand of physicalism, which I call eliminative type physicalism. It claims, roughly, that every property is a physical property, (...)
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