Provides the fullest formulation of a comprehensive physicalist view to date
Evaluates the empirical standing of physicalism in unprecedented detail
Self-contained and thesis-driven discussions, accessible to graduate and advanced undergraduate students, make it an ideal seminar text
A Physicalist Manifesto is the fullest 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 carefully worked-out notion of realization, rather than supervenience; that, so forumlated, 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 posterior epistemic status of a broad-scope scientific hypothesis. Two concluding chapters argue in inprecedented detail that contemporary science provides no significant empirical evidence against physicalism and some considerable evidence for it.
Written in brisk, candid and exceptionally clear style, this book should appeal to professionals and students in philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and philosophy of science.
"This is unquestionably the best elucidation and defense of physicalism as a general world view ever produced by a philospher."
Michael Tye, The University of Texas at Austin
"This excellent book by Andrew Melnyk is both timely and significant. It is timely because now is a good time to take stock of the physicalist debate over the past half century, and Melnyk does that with impressive systematicity and comprehensiveness. Moreover, the book is an important new contribution to that debate. Melnyk offers us a form of physicalism, "realization physicalism", that is robustly reductionist and yet non-eliminative - that is, reductive physicalism that respects the integrity of the casual/explanatory claims of the special sciences. Melnyk's physicalism is a far cry from the pale, insubstantial forms of nonreductive physicalism that have been dominant. One particulary valuable aspect of the book is its extensive coverage of the question of empirical support for physicalism. Here Melnyk goes far beyond those physicalism who take the attitude 'I say that mental states areR^ physical status - refute me if you can!'"
Jaegwon Kim, Brown University