Philosopher: A Kind of Life

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Psychology Press, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 441 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

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Contents

This green summer
1
Village
33
City school Saturdays girls
49
From university distracted First Love
62
Awake in England
90
Bracing life assigned to punishment married again
112
A department joined moral and political utterances
131
Nadir determinism again America
150
Mind and brain etc anathema
244
Professor psychoneural intimacy disarrays
261
Mental and other events Johnny determinism done
277
Lifehopes the Grote an idead girl
301
Harmless drudge functionalism socialist landlord
327
Ingrid court again
353
Consciousness as existence farewells
368
Coda
386

Academic battles political violence an ending
176
Effects a proud Scot justice 4 Keats Grove
199
The higher social life Chancery Court much else
221

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