Do zombies Hunger for Humean brains?

John Heil’s From an Ontological Point of View (Heil 2003) is a tremendous philosophical work. The neo-Lockean ontology the reader finds within its 267 pages is a sensible and refreshing alternative to the neo-Humean ontologies which presently occupy the vast majority of the metaphysical literature. What Heil offers is a much needed change in perspective. Nor are the strengths of the book limited to Heil’s willingness to approach central metaphysical problems in largely untried and unpopular way; the book is very clear in its presentation, accessible to wide readership, and tightly argued throughout. Heil’s efforts in this book are to be applauded, and the result is one that warrants serious consideration by all those interested in serious metaphysics. But the interest should not end there: the lessons of Heil’s book are ones that almost all philosophers ought to take seriously. Despite the criticism that follows, my overall position should not be taken as anything short of a whole-hearted endorsement of Heil’s book. Nonetheless, when philosophy is one’s trade, there is always going to be something to disagree about, however much one is amenable to a view.
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