31 October 2007

Grote Professor Emeritus of the Philosophy of Mind and Logic, University College London
Visiting Professor, University of Bath
Chairman, Royal Institute of Philosophy

Philosophical interests: being conscious, the mind-brain relation, causation and other nomic connections, determinism's formulation and its consequences for us, the mistake of taking determinism to be just compatible or just incompatible with freedom, conditional statements, right and wrong, the Principle of Humanity, consequentialism, terrorism and Palestinian terrorism in particular, democracy and hierarchic democracy, acts and omissions, the tradition of conservatism, state punishment's justification, Mill's On Liberty, philosophy as ordinary logic, philosophical autobiography.

INDEX to c.v.

Informal Summary
Principal Books
Edited Books
Selected Papers
Editing of Series of Books
College & University Administration etc
Some Reviews, Lectures, Journalism, Broadcasts etc


   Born Baden, Ontario, Canada, of John William Honderich and Rae Laura Armstrong. Undergraduate at the University of Toronto. In 1959 preferred graduate work with the Logical Positivist A. J. Ayer at University College London to graduate work at Harvard. Remained at UCL when Ayer left the Grote Chair to return to Oxford. Supervised by Stuart Hampshire, Bernard Williams, Richard Wollheim. Went native  in England, became British citizen. Also democratic socialist proud of small civil disobedience of having sat down in Parliament Square with Bertrand Russell.

1962   Lectureship in philosophy at University of Sussex, two years.  On returning to University College London, was successively Lecturer, Reader, Professor, and then Grote Professor. Visiting professor at Yale University, Graduate Centre of the City University of New York, Brooklyn College, University of Lethbridge.

1960/70's  Journal articles on the nature of truth, Russell's theory of descriptions. Commissioned book Punishment: The Supposed Justifications (1969). Articles on causation, determinism, the nature of time, justice, and John Stuart Mill's On Liberty. Invited pieces on political violence became Three Essays on Political Violence (1977), later revised and republished as Violence for Equality: Inquiries in Political Philosophy.

1980's  Philosophy of Mind articles on psychoneural or mind-brain lawlike connection; also against Donald Davidson's Anomalous Monism. Main book A Theory  of Determinism: The Mind, Neuroscience, and Life-Hopes, 644 pp (1988). Not widely read, republished as paperbacks Mind and Brain and The Consequences of Determinism. 1981 article proposing fundamental principle of justice or equality, later rechristened Principle of Humanity.

1990's  Articles included advocacy of the Union Theory of mind and brain in place of Identity Theory, and pieces on consciousness, its subjectivity, perception, neural functionalism, hierarchic democracy, and moral consequentialism. Books Conservatism (1990), in hope of helping to defeat that political tradition in the coming election, and How Free are You? (1993), subsequently much translated. Book edited was The Oxford Companion to Philosophy.

also 1990's  Articles proceeding from conviction, widely enough shared, that current Philosophy of Mind, whatever is to be said of various sciences of the mind, has run into a dead end. Existing theories of the nature consciousness either devout physicalism or spiritualism -- mysterious dualism. Something different needed.

2001   A book Philosopher: A Kind of Life, a philosophical autobiography and a kind of picture of a profession and academic life. Attempt at personal truth.

2002    After the Terror prompted  by September 11, but about more, including morality, acts and omissions. In passing, a  moral defence of the Palestinians against neo-Zionism, i.e. enlargement of Israel after 1967. Book charged with anti-semitism in Germany as a result, 'banned' by original publisher, republished by another Jewish publisher, large controversy.

2003-5  Collection of papers On Consciousness, and collection On Political Means and Social Ends (not the earlier Social Ends and Political Means). Considerable revision of Violence for Equality: Inquiries in Political Philosophy, under new title Terrorism for Humanity: Inquiries in Political Philosophy. Collection of papers On Determinism and Freedom, much revised edition of Conservatism under title Conservatism: Burke, Nozick, Bush, Blair? New and revised edition of  1969 punishment book: Punishment: The Supposed Justifications Revisited. A second edition of The Oxford Companion to Philosophy.

2006  Humanity, Terrorism, Terrorist War: Palestine, 9/11, Iraq, 7/7... Published in America as Right and Wrong, and Palestine, 9/11, Iraq, 7/7....

2006  A different theory of nature of consciousness, Radical Externalism or Consciousness as Existence, 11 articles on it by other philosophers in the Journal of Consciousness Studies. Also published as book Radical Externalism: Honderich's Theory of Consciousness Discussed. Initial proposition: what it is for you to be perceptually conscious is for a state of affairs to exist in a way outside your head.

2007  Discussion of views on terrorism in Stephen Law, ed., Israel, Palestine, and Terror.

2008-9  Work on a manuscript probably to be book called Actual Consciousness. Articles including 'Humanity, Terrorisms in Palestine, Innocents' and 'Determinism and Freedom: Which Theories are Dead and Which Alive?'.

  Time also spent editing three series of philosophy books: The International Library of Philosophy and Scientific Method, and The Arguments of the Philosophers, and The Problems of Philosophy:Their Past and Present, for Routledge. Also various titles for Penguin.

Lived in Hampstead in London for decades, changed less than it, found better place for philosophy, old vicarage in Frome in Somerset. Returned to London's new Hampstead, also known as Muswell Hill, in 2007. Happy husband of Ingrid Coggin Purkiss as she was, former teacher of philosophy and languages at Farnham College and The Secretary of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, gardener, painter, exemplary critic, ideal parent. Fourth marriage, in which each of two full lives is a real kind of necessary condition of the other, including a public part. Father of Kiaran Honderich and John Ruan Honderich, by second marriage.

Recreations: wine, old  houses, hearing all of Trollope's novels being read aloud, some more than once, decent and inexpensive restaurants.


Edgar Dawn Ross Honderich
30 January 1933
Nationality: British

66, Muswell Hill Road, London N10 3JR
0208 350 4936   07858 768 120
website: http://www.homepages.ucl.ac.uk/~uctytho

Education at home and at schools in Baden, Kitchener, and Toronto. University of Toronto, entrance scholarship, awards and prizes. B.A. Hons. Philosophy and English Literature, 1959. Postgraduate awards by British Council, Canada Council, Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Programme. Ph.D in Philosophy, University College London, 1968.

Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Sussex, 1962-64
Lecturer, University College London, 1964-72
Reader, 1972-83
Professor, 1983-88
Visiting Professor, Yale, 1970
Visiting Professor, Graduate Centre, City University of New York, 1971
Grote Professor of the Philosophy of Mind and Logic, University College London 1988-98
Vice Chairman, The Royal Institute of Philosophy, 1995-2005
Chairman, The Royal Institute of Philosophy, 2005-
Visiting Professor, University of Bath, 2003-


15   Radical Externalism: Honderich's Theory of Consciousness Discussed, Imprint Academic, 2006, ed. Anthony Freeman. Half of book by T.H. -- opening paper and 11 papers in reply to 11 papers by the philosophers Harold Brown, Tim Crane, James Garvey, Stephen Law, E. J. Lowe, Derek Matravers, Paul Noordhof, Ingmar Persson, Stephen Priest, Barry C. Smith, Paul Snowdon. ISBN 184540 068 2; ISBN-13 97818 45400682.

14   Humanity, Terrorism, Terrorist War: Palestine, 9/11, Iraq, 7,7..., UK edition, Continuum, 2006, 0-8264-9116-2. Right and Wrong and Palestine, 9/11, Iraq, 7/7..., US edition, Seven Stories Press, 978-1-58322-736-7. Greek translation.

13   Punishment, the Supposed Justifications Revisited, Pluto Press, 2006. Greatly revised edition of previous editions. pb 0-7453-2131-3, hb 0 7453 2132 1. (Previous editions: Punishment: The Supposed Justifications, 1969, Hutchinson & also Harcourt Brace; 2nd ed., Penguin, 1971; 3rd ed., Penguin, 1984; 4th ed., Polity, 1989.)

12   Conservatism: Burke, Nozick, Bush, Blair? Pluto Press, 2005, greatly revised and enlarged edition of previous editions, hb 0 7453 2130 5, pb 0 7453 2129 1. (Previous editions: Conservatism, 1990, Hamish Hamilton & Westview. Penguin edition, with new afterward, 1991.) Spanish, German translations.

11   On Determinism and Freedom, collected papers from journals etc, Edinburgh University Press, 2005, 0 7486 1841 4.

10   On Consciousness, collected papers, Edinburgh University Press, 2004, 0 7486 1842 2

9   Terrorism for Humanity: Inquiries in Political Philosophy, Pluto Press, 2004, revised and retitled edition of earlier editions, hb 0 7453 2134 8 hb; pb 0 7453 2133 X. German translation. (Earlier editions: Violence for Equality: Inquiries in Political Philosophy, 1980, Penguin. Subsequent edition, Routledge. These were themselves revised and enlarged editions of Three Essays on Political Violence, 1976-- see below.) Greek translation.

8   On Political Means and Social Ends, collected papers from philosophy journals etc, Edinburgh University Press, 2003, 0 7486 1840 6.

7   After the Terror, Edinburgh University Press and Columbia University Press, 2002, hb 0 7486 1667 5. Expanded and revised pb edition, 2003, Edinburgh University Press and Queen's McGill University Press, 0 7486 1668. 1st German translation, Sukrkamp Verlag; 2nd German translation, Melzer Verlag. Greek translation.

6   Philosopher: A Kind of Life, Routledge. 2001, hb 0 415 23697 5. 2002, pb 0 415 27631 4.

5   How Free Are You? The Determinism Problem, Oxford University Press, 1993, 0-19--283139-9, 0-19-212328-9. Enlarged edition with new final chapter, 2002, 0-19-925-197-5. French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Swedish, Polish, Romanian translations.

4   Conservatism, Hamish Hamilton, Westfield, Penguin, 1990, 1991. Spanish, German translations.

3   A Theory of Determinism: The Mind, Neuroscience and Life-Hopes, Oxford University Press, 1998, 644 pp, 0-19-824469-x.

Republished 1990 as two paperbacks. 1st half of original book as Mind and Brain, 375 pp. 2nd half as The Consequences of Determinism, 245 pp.

2   Three Essays on Political Violence, Blackwells, Political Violence, Cornell University Press, 1976. 0 631 17040 5. Original terrorism book, later revised in several editions. See above.

1   Punishment: The Supposed Justifications, Hutchinson, Harcourt Brace, 09 096900 6. Later editions by Penguin, Polity, Pluto Press, 1969, 1971, 1984, 1989. Greatly revised edition 2006 -- see above.


8   Oxford Companion to Philosophy, ed., Oxford University Press, new enlarged edition, 2005, 0 19 926479 1

7   A. J. Ayer: Writings on Philosophy, ed., 6 volumes, Palgrave Macmillan Archive Press, 2004, 1-4039-1744-2.

6   The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, ed., Oxford University Press, 1995, 0-19-866132-0. Arabic, Polish, Spanish translations. See above for new edition.

Excerpts in The Philosophers: Introducing Great Western Thinkers, Oxford University Press, 1999, 0-19-823861-4

5   Morality and Objectivity: A Tribute to J. L. Mackie, ed., Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1985, 0-7100-9991-6

4   Philosophy Through Its Past, anthology, ed., Penguin, 1984. No isbn in forepages.

3   Philosophy As It Is, anthology, co-ed. with Myles Burnyeat, Allen Lane, Penguin, 1979, 0 7139 1184 0

2   Social Ends and Political Means, ed., Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1976, 0 7100 8370 X

1   Essays on Freedom of Action, ed., Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1973, 0 7100 7392 5


2007, 'Honderich on McGinn on Honderich on Consciousness', T.H. website

2007,  'The Principle of Humanity and the Principle of Utility', in Consciousness, Reality and Value: Essays in Honour of Professor Timothy Sprigge, ed. Pierfraancesco Basile & Leemon McHenry, Ontos Verlag

2004  'Introduction to the Collection', A. J. Ayer: Writings on Philosophy, 6 volumes, Palgrave Macmillan Archive Press

2004  'Consciousness as Existence, Devout Physicalism, Spiritualism', Mind and

2004  'After Compatibilism and Incompatibilism', Freedom and Determinism, ed.
Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke, David Shier, MIT Press

2004  'Palestinian Terrorism, Morality and Germany', Rechtsphilosophisches
Hefte, x

2003  'After the Terror: A Book and Further Thoughts', Journal of Ethics

2003  'Perceptual, Reflective and Affective Consciousness as Existence', Minds
and Persons, Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures, ed. Anthony O'Hear

2003  '20 Million Years of Living Time', The Monist

2002  'Determinism as True, Compatibilism and Incompatibilism as False, and the
Real Problem', The Oxford Handbook of Free Will, ed. Robert Kane

2001  'Consciousness As Existence, and the End of Intentionality', Philosophy at
the New Millenium, Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures, ed. Anthony O'Hear

2001  'Mind the Guff: A Response to John Searle', Journal of Consciousness

2000  'Consciousness as Existence Again', Proceedings of the Twentieth World
Congress of Philosophy, also Theoria

2000  'Consciousness and Inner Tubes: On David Papineau's Introducing
Consciousness', Journal of Consciousness Studies

1998  'Compatibilism, Incompatibilism, and the Smart Aleck', Philosophy and
Phenomenological Review

1998  'Consciousness as Existence', Current Issues in the Philosophy of Mind,
Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures, ed. Anthony O'Hear

1996  'Consequentialism, Moralities of Concern, and Selfishness', Philosophy

1995  'Consciousness, Neural Functionalism, Real Subjectivity', American
Philosophical Quarterly

1994  'Hierarchic Democracy and the Necessity of Mass Civil Disobedience',
Conway Memorial Lecture, South Place Ethical Society

1994  'Functionalism, Identity Theories, The Union Theory', The Mind-Body
Problem: The Current State of the Debate, ed. T. Szubka & R. Warner,

1994  'Seeing Things', Synthese

1993  'The Union Theory and Anti-Individualism', Mental Causation, ed. J. Heil
and A. Mele, Oxford University Press

1992  'Causation: One Thing Just Happens After Another', The Philosophy of A. J.
Ayer, The Library of Living Philosophers, ed. L. E. Hahn, Open Court

1992  'Seeing Qualia and Positing the World', A. J. Ayer Memorial Essays, 1989-90 Royal Institute of Philosophy Lecture Series, Cambridge University Press, ed. A. Phillips-Griffiths

1992  'Conservatism Not Much Reconsidered', Utilitas

1992  'Conservatism, Ideology, Rationale and a Red Light', Radical Philosophy

1991  'Afterward to the Paperback Edition', Conservatism, Penguin

1991  'Better the Union Theory', Analysis

1990  'Introduction', A. J. Ayer, The Meaning of Life and Other Essays,

1987  'Mind, Brain and Self-Conscious Mind', Mindwaves, ed. C. Blakemore

1987  'Causation:  Rejoinder to Sanford'. Philosophy

1986  'Mind, Brain and Time: Rejoinder to Libet', Journal of Theoretical

1985  'Punishment, the New Retributivism, and Political Philosophy', Royal
Institute of Philosophy Proceedings

1984  'The Time of a Conscious Sensory Experience and Mind-Brain Theories',
Journal of  Theoretical Biology

1984  'The Principle of Equality: Reply to Nathan', Mind

1984  'Smith and the Champion of Mauve', Analysis; reprinted in Neil Campbell, ed., Mental Causation and Metaphysics of Mind

1984  'Actions and Psychophysical Intimacy', Inquiry

1983  'The Principle of Equality Defended', Politics

1983  'Anomalous Monism:  Reply to Smith', Analysis;
reprinted in Neil Campbell, ed., Mental Causation and Metaphysics of Mind

1983  'Against Teleological Historical Materialism', Inquiry

1982  'On Liberty and Morality-Dependent Harms', Political Studies

1982  'Determinism and Politics', Midwest Studies in Philosophy

1982  'Causes and "If p, even if x, still q"', Philosophy

1982  'The Argument for Anomalous Monism', Analysis;
reprinted in Neil Campbell, ed., Mental Causation and Metaphysics of Mind

1981  'Nomological Dualism:  Reply to Four Critics', Inquiry

1981  'Psychophysical Lawlike Connections and Their Problem', Inquiry,
with commenting articles by J. L. Mackie, S. Stich, T. L. S. Sprigge, E.

1981  'The Problem of Well-being and the Principle of Equality', Mind

1980  Critical discussion of Anthony, Will, Freedom and Power and Freewill
and Responsibility, in Mind

1979  'Four Conclusions about Violence of the Left', Canadian Journal of
Philosophy, 1979, also in Assent and Dissent, ed. J. P. White, Kendall

1977  'Temporal Relations and Temporal Qualities', Time and Philosophy (French
translation Le Temps et Les Philosophies), ed. Paul Ricoeur, UNESCO

1977  'Causes and Causal Circumstances as Necessitating'. Proceedings of the
Aristotelian Society

1975  'On Inequality and Violence, and Differences We Make Between Them', Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures

1975  'The Use of the Basic Proposition of a Theory of Justice', Mind

1974  'The Worth of J. S. Mill's On Liberty', Political Studies

1973  'A Difficulty with Democracy', Philosophy and Public Affairs

1973  'One Determinism', Essays on Freedom of Action, ed. Honderich

1973  'Democratic Violence', Philosophy and Public Affairs

1975  'Appraisals of Political Violence', Issues in Law and Morality, Proceedings Oberlin Colloquium, ed. Norman Care and Thomas Trelogan, Case Western Reserve University Press

1970  'A Conspectus of Determinism'. Supplementary Proceedings of the
Aristotelian Society

1969  'On Russell's Theory of Descriptions', Proceedings of the Aristotelian

1968  'Truth', Studies in Logical Theory, American Philosophical Quarterly
Monograph, ed. Nicholas Rescher

1968  'Mill on Liberty', Inquiry

1962  Bertrand Russell, Logic and Knowledge, review, Philosophy


1965-80  The International Library of Philosophy and Scientific Method, Routledge. c. 15 vols

1980-95  The Arguments of the Philosophers, Routledge, c. 15 vols.

1990-95  The Problems of Philosophy: Their Past and Present, c. 10 vols. Routledge.

1965-80 Penguin Philosophy books, c. 12 vols.


2005-  Chairman, The Royal Institute of Philosophy, 2005-

1995-2005 Vice-Chairman, The Royal Institute of Philosophy

1989 Literary Executor, A. J. Ayer

1987-92 Head, Department of Philosophy, University College London

1986-9 Chairman, University of London Board of Philosophical Studies

1987-90 Chairman, University Boards of Examiners in Philosophy

1965-74 Departmental Tutor, Philosophy Department, UCL

various years Professorial Board, Academic Board, Library Committee, Committee on College  Governance, Pensions and Superannuation Committee, Appointment Committees

various years External Examiner, University of Ghana


1969-2006  lectures, talks to university philosophy departments, academic conferences, e.g. annual Towards A Science of Consciousness conference, in U.K., U.S., Canada, Ireland, continental European countries, Russia, China, Japan, Korea, Iran, Hawaii, etc

2006   'The Real Friends of Terror', documentary television programme from the book Humanity, Terrorism, Terrorist War, Channel Five, Don't Get Me Started series, Liberty Bell Productions

2006   Discussion of Punishment: The Supposed Justifications Revisited, BBC Thinking Allowed programme, with Laurie Taylor

2005   'Humanity and Terrorism', House of Lords committee room debate with Lord Layard, Lord Parekh, Baroness O'Neill

2005   'On Being Persona Non Grata to Palestinians Too', CounterPunch

2004   'The Justification of Punishment', American public radio, Chicago

2004   'Mr Blair as Moralist', The Independent

2004   'Ted Honderich and the Newspaper LondonStudent, and a Postscript', http://www.homepages.ucl.ac.uk/~uctytho/LondonStudent.html

2004   'The Way Things Are and the Need for a New Disrespect', lecture to Edinburgh Festival, Gothenberg Book Fair, Bath Festival

2003-4   entries on determinism & freedom for Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Oxford Companion to the Mind, and Dictionary of the History of Ideas

2003   'The Fall and Rise of a Book in Germany: A Brief Account and Guide to Further Reading', http://www.homepages.ucl.ac.uk/~uctytho

2003   'Are Suicide Bombings Morally Defensible? A Reply to Richard Wolin', Chronicle of Higher Education, 24 October, http://www.homepages.ucl.ac.uk/~uctytho/Wolinmyreply.html

2003   'I Have Not Changed My Mind: After the Terror, Germany, Palestine', Junge Welt, 14 November http://www.homepages.ucl.ac.uk/~uctytho/terrnochangeEngl.html

2003   German television & radio on After the Terror

2003   'Banning a Book', Frankfurter Rundschau, 6 August http://www.homepages.ucl.ac.uk/~uctytho/BrumlikReplybyTHEnglish.html

2002   Does the Book Have a Future?, Frome Festival Talk, privately printed, The Old School Press

2002   review, Bernard Williams, Truth and Truthfulness, in The Guardian

2002   'Good Enough?', review, Simon Blackburn, Being Good, in The Times

2002   'Oxfam G.B., 5000, Neo-Zionism, After the Terror, and Medical Aid for Palestinians', http://www.homepages.ucl.ac.uk/~uctytho/ATTOxfam1.htm

2000   'Yes, Tony's Talking that Equality Talk', The Guardian

2000   'Hampstead: Goodbye To All That', Camden New Journal, http://www.homepages.ucl.ac.uk/~uctytho/hampstead.htm

2000   'You Gotta Read It', review, John Searle, Mind, Language and Society, in Times Literary Supplement, http://www.homepages.ucl.ac.uk/~uctytho/HonderichreviewSearle.html

1999? 'Consciousness', discussion with Roger Penrose, BBC In Our Time programme, chairman Melvyn Bragg. http://www.homepages.ucl.ac.uk/~uctytho/PenroseHonderichBragg.html

1992   Newsnight, BBC, on J. S. Mill and the enforcement of morality

1992   'America on Trial', discussion with Profs. Kennedy, Zander, Channel 4

1990   'Fees and Ethics', Times Higher Educational Supplement, 1990

1990   'Free Will Discussed', with Janet Radcliffe Richards, BBC Open University broadcast

1989   'Simple Names and Language-Games', on Ludwig Wittgenstein, Radio 3

1989   'A Conversation with A. J. Ayer', Radio 3

1988   'Introduction' to A. J. Ayer, 'The Meaning of Life', Conway Memorial Lecture

1988   'Life-Hopes: A Conversation Between Ted Honderich and Mary Warnock', on A Theory of Determinism: The Mind, Neuroscience, and Life-Hopes, Radio 3, 16 May

1986   'Reasons', Six Debates, Anglia Television

1984   'Voices' programmes, presenter, Channel 4, 1984

1984   review, Derek Parfit, Reasons and Persons, in New Statesman, 4 May

1982   review, Bernard Williams, Moral Luck, in New Statesman, 15 Jan

1981   review, Donald Davidson, Essays on Actions and Events, in New Statesman, 3 April

1981   review, C. L. Ten, Mill on Liberty, in Times Higher Educational Supplement

1977   'Political Violence -- Is It Possible to Have an Open Mind?', The Times, 26 Jan

1975   'Letter From Ghana', Radio 3 talk, one of 2 or 3 from Ghana


Garrick Club
Aristotelian Society
Mind Association
Labour Party

HOME to T. H. website front page
HOME to Det & free front page