These are a philosopher's pages. Writings by him are in them, many on consciousness, many on right and wrong in politics. Also papers by him and others on determinism and freedom.
One commitment in all this, to which there is an index, is to mainstream philosophy, which is a greater concentration than that of science on the logic of ordinary intelligence -- (i) clarity, usually analysis, (ii) consistency and validity, (iii) completeness, (iv) generalness. In short, thinking about facts rather than getting to them? Another commitment of these pages, about what is right, is to the Principle of Humanity.   

Honderich Talks.  Noam Chomsky (by Skype), Tim Crane, Paul Gilbert, and Robert Kane will be giving talks having to do with Ted Honderich's philosophy -- consciousness,  right and wrong with respect to terrorism etc, and determinism and freedom. 9 February in Chancellor's Hall, University of London. Responses by Ted. Further details from The Royal Institute of Philosophy.

Philosophers of Our Times -- Introductory Lecture, Edinburgh Festival, by Ted Honderich

A Hay-on-Wye festival event:   Humanity, Conservatism, David Aaronovitch, Edwina Currie. Ted Honderich


Oxford University Press

Actual Conciousness

          To understand what it is to be conscious, don’t start with any of five leading philosophical ideas -- qualia, what it’s like to be something, traditional subjectivity, intentionality, phenomenality, or any bundle of them. Start with a large figurative database. It leads to ordinary consciousness in the primary or core sense being initially adequately clarified, which kind of clarification is essential to inquiry and real agreement and disagreement. This consciousness, speaking as figuratively, is something's being actual.  

The resulting wholly literal and explicit theory of consciousness, Actualism, first is that with consciousness in perceiving, what is actual is a spatio-temporal piece or stage out there of a physical world, usually a room, certainly not a room in a head. Not sense data, any other representations, a self, functional or cognitive-science relations, some constitution or structure of consciousness, or whatever else from the histories of philosophy and science. No matter what roles such things or related ones play in the associated unconscious mentality. 

With thinking and with wanting as against perceiving, what is actual, to be briefer than brief, is only representations-with-attitudes.

Being actual, in all cases, is being subjectively physical, differently so with perceptual consciousness as against each of cognitive and affective consciousness. No representationism by itself, and not the representationism in Actualism, is a sufficient account of cognitive and affective consciousness. Representations being actual have to be in a sufficient account.

The subjectively physical as a whole, its parts being open to full and explicit characterization, no gesturing, is one great category of all physicality, the other being objective physicality. 

Actualism, right or wrong, is therefore a wholly different  physicalism from predecessors. It is different too in being partly an externalism and partly an internalism or cranialism. 

It deals exclusively with the prime subject with respect to the philosophy and science of mind, the necessary subject. It is argued to satisfy assembled criteria better than any competing theory. It denies absolutely any really unique mystery about mind. It claims to explain the fact of subjectivity fully, which is essential to any theory of consciousness, only partly by having a real physical world dependent not only on the objective physical world but also on you neurally. 

Despite being persistently worked out, is it also a programme? It may be philosophically as well as scientifically fertile. Certainly it is wholly consistent with, and respects, and registers the past progress of the science of consciousness. It is a full partner to science, as science is to it.

Long review by Alastair Hannay, in Philosophy

Long Review by Dale Jacquette, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

Review by Roberta Locatelli, in Times Higher Education

Author summary of Actual Consciousness

Author talk, launch party

On Why Actual Consciousness is Wholly a Subject for More Science -- and on Some Other Relations Between Philosophy and Science With Respect to Actual Consciousness

Lecture -- Actual Consciousness: Database, Physicalities, Theory, Criteria, No Unique Mystery

Lecture audience handout

Lecture UCL undergraduate Philosophy Society handout / Powerpoint

Actual Consciousness on Twitter

Oxford University Press Catalogue

Author's comments on 2006 papers by others on his earlier stuff that issued in Actual Consciousness --- papers by Harold Brown, Tim Crane, James Garvey, Stephen Law, E.J. Lowe, Derek Matravers, Paul Noordhof, Ingmar Persson, Stephen Priest, Barry Smith, Paul Snowdon. In Radical Externalism: Honderich's Theory of Consciousness Discussed, edited by Anthony Freeman, and also Journal of Consciousness Studies, 2006.


Royal Institute of Philosophy Annual Lectures
Oxford University Press


The 17 lectures in this volume are in five groups, as listed just below, about (i) the philosophy of mind, (ii) value, (iii) the mixed bag of free will, personal identity and religion, (iv) political and social philosophy, and (v) philosophy itself. They are preceded by brief introductory summaries by the chairman of all the lectures, Prof. Honderich.

Turn if you wish to the general introduction to the volume. Turn too if you wish to the introductory summaries of the lectures.


Thomas Nagel, Conceiving the Impossible and the Mind-Body Problem
Ted Honderich introductory summary

Peter Strawson, Perception and Its Objects
introductory summary

Tyler Burge, Perception: Where Mind Begins?
introductory summary

Jerry Fodor, The Revenge of the Given: Mental Representation Without Conceptualization

introductory summary

Ned Block, Attention and Mental Paint

introductory summary

John McDowell, Intention in Action  
introductory summary

Christine Korsgaard, On Having a Good  
introductory summary

Tim Scanlon, Reasons Fundamentalis
T.H. introductory summary

Simon Blackburn, The Sovereignty of Reason
introductory summary

Mary Warnock, What Is Natural and Should We Care About It?

introductory summary

John Searle, Freedom of the Will as a Problem in Neurobiology  
introductory summary

Derek Parfit, We Are Not Human Beings  

introductory summary

Anthony Kenny, Knowledge, Belief and Faith: Is Religion Really the Root of All Evil
introductory summary


Noam Chomsky, Simple Truths, Hard Choices: Some Thoughts on Terror, Justice, and Self-Defence  
introductory summary

Alasdair MacIntyre, Social Structures and Their Threats to Moral Agency  
introductory summary

Jurgen Habermas, Religious Tolerance: The Pacemaker for Cultural Right
introductory summary


Bernard Williams, Philosophy as a Humanist Disciplin
introductory summary

David Chalmers, On the Limits of Philosophical Progress
introductory summary

First newspaper review:

of the larger and smaller categories of papers, chapters, lectures, reviews, a speech or two, some television and other media and so on on.

1. Consciousness, its sides, the mind, functionalism and cognitive science, Davidson's Anomalous Monism, mental causation,
mind-brain dualism, traditional physicalism, Roland Penrose's inner tubes, David Papineau's physicalism, that left-behind Union Theory of consciousness and brain now succeeded by Actualism.

2. Politics and hence right and wrong, consequentialism about rightness, equality and its obvious problem, the Principle of Humanity, maybe its holiness, conservatism and liberalism, hierarchic democracy,  civil disobedience, Marx and Mill, Anti-Semitism and also Semitic Inhumanity, a respectable instance of neo-Zionist philosophy, terrorisms, the moral right of the Palestinians to their terrorism, war and the terrorist-war criminal Blair.

3. Determinism's truth and its relation to freedom and responsibility, the absurdity of both the ideas that determinism is compatible and that determinism is incompatible with freedom, philosophical autobiography, philosophical attacks and defences and rows, and more.

4 General and miscellaneous. Russell's great Theory of Descriptions and Strawson's objection, two views of the Logical Positivist A. J. Ayer, against the idea of effects as merely high probabilities, interviews and broadcasts, several fusses.

And here, from each of these four categories, a few quick selections.

1. Consciousness and mind

John Searle and Property Dualism

Actual Consciousness, the 1st review, Times Higher Education

Actual Consciousness: Why it makes consciousness a subject for still more science

Actual Consciousness: An author's oversight already, the tyranny of the present, grandiosity

Descartes, dualism, objective physicalism, the true physicalism -- another summary of a book of 213,000 words

Hay-on-Wye videos -- consciousness lecture

Davidson's Anomalous Monism and the Champion of Mauve

Roger Penrose and Ted Honderich on consciousness

Excerpts from 11 papers by others and from Honderich's replies in a book on his now outlived thinking about consciousness and radical externalism

From that past book, seeing things & intentionality in seeing

2. politics and right and wrong

Thoughts after the book After The Terror on our culpable omissions in a loss of 20 million years of living time in Africa

Jurgen Habermas on After the Terror

A book interview with Ted Honderich on American state terrorism

Occupy London talks to the occupiers at St. Paul's Cathedral

A tv interview & transcript about Palestine

Full lectures (Chomsky, Honderich etc) in a series on terror

Hay-on-Wye videos -- debate on terrorism -- & the talk Terrorisms, Wars, The New Teletubbies

The Neo-Zionist libel of anti-semitism and the fall and rise of a book in Germany

On Understanding, Endorsing or Inciting Terrorism

A Greek interview -- Mass Civil Disobedience Today

Chomsky on simple truths about terrorism etc

Postscript to the German book-banning having to do with purported anti-semitism: The Absent Prof. Brumlik

Our air war on Libya

Reviews by the politicians Michael Foot and Enoch Powell of After the Terror

3. determinism, freedom, responsibility

Dan Dennett, a review of Honderich A Theory of Determinism: The Mind, Neuroscience, and Life Hopes

A. J. Ayer review of Honderich determinism book above

A recent and different idea on determinism and our human standing owed to thinking about consciousness

Doyle on Honderich on determinism and freedom

On the idea that effects are only high probabilities

Galen Strawson on free will

Ch.1 of the book How Free Are You? in French

The general paper Effects, Determinism, Neither Compatibilism Nor Incompatibilism, Consciousness

Maybe true if traditional articles on determinism & freedom by McCall & McCann

More on determinism and freedom by Manuel Vargas & Ted Honderich

4. general, miscellaneous

Thinking about the nature of  time -- the relations of (a) before and after as against (b) past and present

A letter to the editor against a distinguished scientist about philosophy as dead, time, etc.

A tiff in a Moral Maze on the BBC, and what would have been said if....

On Bernard Williams on moral luck, and other philosophers on other items, thoughts on them

Terrorist-war criminals such as Blair

Danish interview, gratifying to the subject

English interview at the Garrick Club

Is the mind ahead of the brain or behind it? Superior thoughts on the neuroscientist Libet.

You gotta read it -- a review of Searle on mind, language and society

Honderich, McGinn, Strohminger -- academic rows and insults about two reviewed books, one being Honderich's On Consciousness

One Oxford Union speech, this one about money and politics etc

Catherine Wilson review of Honderich, Philosopher: A Kind of Life


Kings College London, 24 Jan

Royal Institute of Philosophy, 28 Feb

St. Andrews, Apr 1

Hay on Wye, lecture on consciousness, 27 May

Hay on Wye, panel discussion with Thomas Pogge on world poverty, also 27 May

New York University, consciousness, Sept 29

Graduate Centre, CUNY, consciousness, Oct 1

Muswell Hill Bookshop, Oct 17

Magdeburg, Germany, Nov 25

Berlin School of Brain and Mind, Humboldt University, Nov 27, 2015

University College London, Philosophy Dept, Feb 12

Oxford Brookes, Feb 16

Birkbeck College, Mar 27

Oxford, Rewley House,  May 16-17, 2015

Hay on Wye, May 25, talk on consciousness, panel with David Abramovitch, Edwina Currie

Edinburgh Book Festival, August

University of Bern, Nov 26

Curriculum Vitae



Invitation to an open philosophical website:   Submissions are welcome on consciousness and mind, determinism, free will, political moralities, Palestine, Zionism, neo-Zionism, other related subjects, maybe general and miscellaneous.