January 2005

An undergraduate at the University of Toronto, he came to London thereafter. Having preferred graduate work with the Logical Positivist A. J. Ayer at University College London to graduate work at Harvard, he nonetheless remained at University College when Ayer left the Grote Chair, and was supervised by Stuart Hampshire, Bernard Williams and  Richard Wollheim. 

He went native  in England not long after arriving in 1959, and later became a British citizen. His first Lectureship was at the University of Sussex, for several years.  On returning to University College London, he was successively Lecturer, Reader, Professor, and then Grote Professor. Along the way he became a democratic socialist, but proud of the small civil disobedience of having sat down on the pavement in Parliament Square with Bertrand Russell. He has been a visiting professor at Yale, the Graduate Centre of the City University of New York, Brooklyn College, and the University of Calgary.

Some of his first publications were articles on the nature of truth and on Russell's theory of descriptions. Also the book Punishment: The Supposed Justifications. An edited book of political philosophy, written by other hands, was Social Ends and Political Means. Publications not long after were articles on causation, determinism, time, justice, and John Stuart Mill, as well as pieces on political violence that went into a book. This, Three Essays on Political Violence, was subsequently enlarged into Violence for Equality: Inquiries in Political Philosophy.   

In the 1980's there were Philosophy of Mind articles on psychoneural lawlike connection and against Donald Davidson's Anomalous Monism, and the large book A Theory  of Determinism: The Mind, Neuroscience, and Life-Hopes, republished as the two paperbacks Brain and Mind and The Consequences of Determinism. Also a defence of the (real) principle of justice or equality, later to be rechristened the Principle of Humanity. 

Pieces in the  1990's included advocacy of the Union Theory as against the Identity Theory  of mind and brain, as well as pieces on consciousness, its subjectivity, perception, neural functionalism, hierarchic democracy, and consequentialism. Books written were Conservatism, in the hope of helping to defeat that political tradition in a coming British election, and How Free are You?, now much translated. A book edited was The Oxford Companion to Philosophy .

Most recently there have been five pieces proceeding from the conviction, widely enough shared, that the Philosophy of Mind, whatever is to be said of the various   sciences of the mind, has run into a dead end. Something new and entirely different is needed -- and it may be the near-physicalist idea of Consciousness as Existence,  which has survived exposure to various conferences. What it is for you to be perceptually conscious is for a state of affairs to exist in a way outside your head. To say so is not literary utterance or the like but the beginning of analysis.

A book Philosopher: A Kind of Life, worked on for a good while, is a philosophical autobiography, and a kind of picture of a profession. The book After the Terror   was prompted  by September 11, but is about more than that. In passing it defends the Palestinians against neo-Zionism. It has given rise to controversy in Germany and elsewhere.

Other books recently published have been the collection of papers On Consciousness, which includes the five papers on Consciousness as Existence and also a context for them, and the collection Political Means and Social Ends, not to be confused with Social Ends and Political Means, and the revision of Violence for Equality: Inquiries in Political Philosophy, under the new title Terrorism for Humanity: Inquiries in Political Philosophy.

Forthcoming is another collection of papers, On Determinism and Freedom, and a revised edition of Conservatism under the title Conservatism: Burke, Nozick, Bush, Blair? There will also be a new edition of Punishment: The Supposed Justifications. And a new edition of The Oxford Companion to Philosophy.

Time has also been expended by him on the editing of three series of philosophy books: The International Library of Philosophy and Scientific Method, The Arguments of the Philosophers, and The Problems of Philosophy: Their Past and Present, for Routledge, and various titles for Penguin.

He lived in Hampstead in London for a few decades, changed less than it, and has  now found a better place for philosophy in the west of England.

Once the happy partner, now the happy husband, of Ingrid Coggin Purkiss as she was, exemplary critic and gardener, lately The Secretary of The Royal Institute of Philosophy. Father of Kiaran Honderich and John Ruan Honderich.  

Recreations: wine, an old  house, decent and inexpensive restaurants.



Ted Honderich
Grote Professor Emeritus of the Philosophy of Mind and Logic
University College London

30 January 1933
Fountain House, Gould's Ground, Frome, BA11 3DW, U.K.
01373 466 854

Schools in Baden, Kitchener, Toronto; University of Toronto, entrance scholarship, awards and prizes, B.A. Hons. Philosophy and English Literature, 1959, maybe a 1st in Philosophy; Ph.D  Philosophy, University College London, 1968; awards by British Council, Canada Council, Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Programme.

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-present.


Oxford Companion to Philosophy, ed., Oxford University Press, enlarged and revised edition, Feb 2005

Conservatism: Burke, Nozick, Bush, Blair?
, Pluto Press, enlarged and revised edition of Conservatism, Jan 2005

On Determinism and Freedom, collected papers, Edinburgh University Press, Jan 2005

On Consciousness, collected papers, Edinburgh University Press, 2004

Terrorism for Humanity: Inquiries in Political Philosophy
, Pluto Press, revised edition, German translation, 2004

On Political Means and Social Ends, collected papers, Edinburgh University Press, 2003

After the Terror, Edinburgh University Press, German translations Suhrkamp Verlag & Melzer Verlag, 2002, expanded edition 2003

Philosopher: A Kind of Life, Routledge, 2001

The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, ed., Oxford University Press, Polish translation, excerpts in The Philosophers: Introducing Great Western Thinkers, Oxford University Press, 1995, 1999

How Free Are You? The Determinism Problem, Oxford University Press. German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Swedish, Polish, Romanian translations, 1993, enlarged edition 2002

Conservatism, Hamish Hamilton, Westfield, Penguin; Spanish, German translations; 1990, 1991

A Theory of Determinism: The Mind, Neuroscience and Life-Hopes
, Oxford University Press, 644 pp. 1998, 1st half republished Mind and Brain, 2nd half The Consequences of Determinism, 1990

Morality and Objectivity: A Tribute to J. L. Mackie
, ed., Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1985

Philosophy Through Its Past
, ed., Penguin, 1984

Philosophy As It Is
, ed. with Myles Burnyeat, 1979, Allen Lane, Penguin, 1979

Social Ends and Political Means
, ed., Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1976

Essays on Freedom of Action
, ed., Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1973

Violence for Equality: Inquiries in Political Philosophy
, revised & enlarged edition of Three Essays..., Penguin, Routledge. 1980, 1989

Three Essays on Political Violence
, Blackwells, Cornell University Press, 1976

Punishment: The Supposed Justifications
, Hutchinson, Harcourt Brace, Penguin, Polity, Pluto Press, 1989. 1969, 1971, 1984, 1989, revised edition forthcoming 2005


'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 Matter, 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, 2004

'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. A. O'Hear, 2003

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

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

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

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

'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, 2000.

'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. A. O'Hear, 1998

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

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

'Hierarchic Democracy and the Necessity of Mass Civil Disobedience', Conway 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, Blackwells, 1994

'Seeing Things', Synthese, 1994

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

'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, 1992

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

'Better the Union Theory', Analysis, 1991

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

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

'Causation:  Rejoinder to Sanford'. Philosophy, 1987.

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

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

'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. 1984

'Actions and Psychophysical Intimacy', Inquiry, 1984

'The Principle of Equality Defended', Politics, 1983

'Anomalous Monism:  Reply to Smith', Analysis, 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, 1982

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

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

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

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

'Four Conclusions about Violence of the Left', Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 1979, also in Assent and Dissent, ed. J. P. White, Kendall Hunt, 1983

'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, 1977

'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, 1975

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

'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, 1973

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

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

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

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

'Mill on Liberty', Inquiry, 1968

Bertrand Russell, Logic and Knowledge, review, Philosophy, 1962


The International Library of Philosophy and Scientific Method, Routledge, c. 40 vols. to 1992

The Arguments of the Philosophers
, Routledge, c. 25 vols. Routledge, to 1992

The Problems of Philosophy: Their Past and Present
, c. 10 vols. Routledge. To 1992, except for some remaining titles.

Penguin Philosophy books, c. 12 vols, to 1997.


Vice-President, Royal Institute of Philosophy, 1995-present

Head, UCL Department of Philosophy, 1987-1992

Chairman, University of London Board of Philosophical Studies, 1986-89

Chairman, University Boards of Examiners in Philosophy, 1987-90

Department Tutor, 1965-74

Professorial Board, Academic Board, Library Committee, Committee on College

Governance, Pensions and Superannuation Committee, Appointment Committees, various periods

External Examiner, University of Ghana, various years


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

'Mr Blair as Moralist', The Independent, 2004

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

German television, radio, on After the Terror, 2003, 2004

'The Fall and Rise of a Book in Germany',                     http://www.homepages.ucl.ac.uk/~uctytho, 2003

University lectures Canada, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, U.K., U.S., Hawaii, etc., 2000-2004

Does the Book Have a Future?
, The Old School Press, 2002

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

review, Simon Blackburn, Being Good, in The Times, 2002

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

lectures, papers Canada, China, Denmark, Iran, Korea, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland etc. 1990-2000

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

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

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

radio, 'Free Will Discussed', BBC Open University Broadcast, 1990

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

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

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

'Voices' programmes, Channel 4, 1984

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

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

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

'Political Violence', The Times, 26 Jan 1977

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


Aristotelian Society, Garrick Club, Labour Party, Mind Association