Melnyk, Andrew 1962-

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Melnyk, Andrew 1962-


Born March 7, 1962. Education: University of Oxford, B.A. (first-class honors), 1985, B.Phil., 1987, D.Phil., 1990.


Office—Department of Philosophy, University of Missouri, 438 Strickland Hall, Columbia, MO 65211-4160. E-mail—[email protected].


Magdalen College, University of Oxford, Oxford, England, junior lecturer, 1988-89; University of Virginia, Charlottesville, visiting assistant professor, 1989-1990; College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, visiting assistant professor, 1990-91; University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, philosophy department, assistant professor, 1991-97, associate professor, 1997-2005, professor, 2005—, department chair, 2006—.


Open Scholarship, Corpus Christi College, Oxford, 1981; Claude R. Lambe Foundation Fellowship, 1985, 1988; Humane Studies Foundation Summer Research Fellowship, 1987; John Locke Prize for Mental Philosophy, Oxford University, 1987; Visiting Scholar, Social Philosophy and Policy Center, Bowling Green State University, 1991; University of Missouri-Columbia Research Board Summer Research Fellowship, 1992; University of Missouri-Columbia Research Council Sabbatical Leave, 1998-99; University of Missouri System Research Board Grant, 1999.


A Physicalist Manifesto: Thoroughly Modern Materialism, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Contributor to journals, including Philosophical Psychology, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, and the Review of Metaphysics.


Writer and educator Andrew Melnyk was born March 7, 1962. He attended the University of Oxford in England, where he earned his bachelor's degree with first-class honors in 1985, followed by a bachelor of philosophy in 1987 and a doctorate in 1990. Over the course of his career, he has taught at a number of institutions of higher learning, including Magdalen College at the University of Oxford, the University of Virginia, the College of William and Mary, and the University of Missouri at Columbia, where he serves as a full professor in the philosophy department as well as department chair. Melnyk teaches a range of classes, including courses on general philosophy and logic, metaphysics, the philosophy of science, and foundations of cognitive science. He has been the recipient of a number of prizes and fellowships for his work, including a scholarship to Corpus Christi College, at the University of Oxford; the John Locke Prize for Mental Philosophy from the University of Oxford, in 1987; and a University of Missouri System Research Board Grant, in 1999. In addition, he has given lectures at a number of universities and for other events, on topics including "Naturalism as A Philosophical Paradigm," "What Is Multiple Realization?," "Physicalism, Phenomenal Properties, and the Sense of Incredibility," "Realization and the Formulation of Physicalism," and "Some Evidence for Physicalism." He has given presentations at several branches of the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology, Mountain-Plains Philosophy Conference, and the Southwestern Philosophical Society, among other organizations. Melnyk has written scholarly articles for a number of academic journals, such as Philosophical Psychology, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, and the Review of Metaphysics. He is also the author of A Physicalist Manifesto: Thoroughly Modern Materialism, which was published by the Cambridge University Press in 2003.

A Physicalist Manifesto introduces readers to the general concepts behind the physicalist philosophy, which centers around the idea that everything is physical in some sense of the word. The philosophy is one held particularly by philosophers of a more scientific bent. However, it is not an overly popular philosophy, nor one that has a strict set of rules defining and explaining it. Because of this, those individuals who believe they hold a physicalist view often find that they disagree with each other, further complicating the case for the philosophy. In his book, Melnyk attempts to remedy this issue by offering a single comprehensive volume that covers this subject, systematically offering delineations for the physicalist view, and also suggesting parameters for the antiphysicalist view, which would commonly be considered the opposing point of view. Because of the link between physicalism and science, particularly physics, Melnyk makes a stand for the promotion of formal research that would assist in not just verifying the parameters of the physicalist view, but would anchor it firmly in the reality of the more practical and verifiable scientific format. Sami Pihlstrom, in a contribution for the Review of Metaphysics, observed that "a problem of the book is that it primarily speaks to those already converted (if not to physicalism, at least to materialism of some sort)." He suggested that Melnyk's failure to defend his own belief that, in general, nonscientific theories and beliefs receive very little attention and are not considered to be serious, weakens his overall argument. At the same time, he dismisses purely philosophical arguments against physicalism, claiming only pure science can provide a rationale of that sort. However, he ultimately went on to conclude that "Melnyk's book is great news to both physicalists and antiphysicalists, as it is, to the best of my knowledge, the clearest, most comprehensive, and most systematic treatment of physicalism up to now."



Philosophical Review, January, 2005, Andrew Botterell, review of A Physicalist Manifesto: Thoroughly Modern Materialism, p. 125.

Review of Metaphysics, March, 2006, Sami Pihlstrom, review of A Physicalist Manifesto, p. 661.

Skeptical Inquirer, March 1, 2004, Kendrick Frazier, review of A Physicalist Manifesto, p. 70.


University of Missouri Philosophy Department Web site, (March 19, 2008), faculty profile.

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