In A Questionable Shape
Bennett Sims questions zombies' being-already-dead-in-world-ness.
Here my model is Martin Heidegger, a philosopher who located both epistemology and ontology in the hands. In his account, the know-how of a hand handling its equipment, the 'ready-to-hand' knowledge of a hand, is the most immediate way that man (what Heidegger calls 'Dasein,' literally 'Being There') has of understanding objects. The more that a hand uses a hammer, the more that it unveils the true 'hammer-being' of the hammer. And granting that epistemology of the hand doubles as an ontology of the hand--that is, an account of how hands go about being in the world or otherwise constituting the Being of that world--such ready-to-hand knowledge is naturally fraught with existential significance. Whenever Dasein uses the hammer, he relates not just to the hammer but to everything: the nails in his desk drawer, the desk, the chair at the desk, the room itself, with its walls and windows and doors, the hallway outside and the house, continually spiraling outward, ad infinitum, until the hammer has formed a total world. Being-in-the-world means being caught up in just such a network of equipmental relations, which Dasein is enmeshed in anytime he grabs a tool. For Heidegger, to hold something is both to know and to be. In the case of our undead, the ramifications of this chiral ontology are clear. If an infected breaks into its old bedroom, and its hand roots under the bed for the hammer that it 'knows' is there, then doesn't the infected also 'know' the equipmental totality of the mattress, bed, room, and house, that is, the entire Being-in-the-World of its quondam Dasein, which is to say, couldn't the infected be, in some qualified way, precisely the same Dasein?
chiral: Asymmetric in such a way that the structure and its mirror image are not superimposable.
quondam: That once was; former.