Philosopher A Kind Of Life

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Routledge, Oct 14, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 472 pages

The story of Ted Honderich, philosopher, a story of a perilous philosophical life, marked by critical examination, and a compelling personal life full of human drama. This is the story of Ted Honderich's perilous progress from boyhood in Canada to the Grote Professorship of Mind and Logic at University College London, A. J. Ayer's chair. It is compelling, candid and revealing about the beginning and the goal, and everything in between: early work as a journalist on The Toronto Star, travels with Elvis Presley, arrival in Britain, loves and friendships, academic rivalries and battles, marriages and affairs, self-interest and empathy. It sets out resolutely to explain how and why it all happened.

It is as much a narrative of Ted Honderich's philosophy. He makes hard problems real. Philosophy from consciousness and determinism to political violence and democracy comes into sharp focus.

Along the way, questions keep coming up. Does the free marriage owe anything to the analytic philosophy? What are the costs of truth? Are the politics of England slowly making it an ever-better place? Is an action's rightness independent of the mixture of motives out of which it came?


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Philosopher: a kind of life

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This is the story of a Mennonite boy who grew up in small-town Ontario and went on to be Grote professor of mind and logic at University College, London. Along the way, he defended determinism against ... Read full review


1 This green summer
2 Village
3 City school Saturdays girls
4 From university distracted First Love
5 Awake in England
6 Bracing life assigned to punishment married again
7 A department joined moral and political utterances
8 Nadir determinism again America
12 Mind and brain etc anathema
13 Professor psychoneural intimacy disarrays
14 Mental and other events Johnny determinism done
15 Lifehopes the Grote an idead girl
16 Harmless drudge functionalism socialist landlord
17 Ingrid court again
18 Consciousness as existence farewells
19 Coda

9 Academic battles political violence an ending
10 Effects a proud Scot justice 4 Keats Grove
11 The higher social life Chancery Court much else

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