“Zombies did not fall from the sky”

The title of this post is my favorite quote from J. Heil, From An Ontological Point of View, OUP, 2003 (from p. 248).

Heil’s point is that “The zombie possibility turns on substantive philosophical theses concerning properties, powers, and laws of nature.  I have argued at length, and on independent grounds, against these substantive theses…  The point I should like to leave with you the reader is just that decisions made about ground-level ontological matters determine the space of possibilities in philosophy of mind–and, of course, in other domains as well” (p. 248).

Finally, “the pursuit of ontology in philosophy is unavoidable” (249).  This is perhaps the most important message that Heil is conveying with his book.

(Incidentally, Heil will give an invited talk at next year’s SSPP meeting, for which the CFP has just appeared.)