Cover image for After the terror
After the terror
Honderich, Ted.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
160 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV6432 .H66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Ted Honderich investigates the morality of the September 11th attacks and what terrorism tells us about ourselves and our obligations. Did we have a responsibility for what took place? Did we respond to it as we should have? What are we to do now? After the Terror inquires into the "naturalfact" of morality and the worked-out moralities of philosophers. It reaches to the moral core of our lives.Honderich writes, "We can be held partly responsible for the 3,000 deaths at the twin towers and at the Pentagon. We are rightly to be held responsible along with the killers. We share the guilt. Those who condemn us have a reason to do so. Did we bring the killing at the twin towers on ourselves?Did we have it coming? Those offensive questions, and their offensive, but affirmative answer, do contain a truth."

Author Notes

Ted Honderich has been Grote Professor of the Philosophy of Mind and Logic at University College London, and a visiting professor at Yale and in New York

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Honderich (philosophy, Univ. College London) offers his personal reflections on the post-9/11 world. He conflates selectively cited truths, half-truths, and no-truths to bolster many of his points. One expects better from so distinguished a scholar. In his supposed quest to understand "9/11," Honderich proposes to consider "the charges against us"--the victims--as if the deliberate, premeditated mass murder of innocent civilians requires "understanding" instead of steadfast opposition. His usage of "Palestine" assumes an extant statehood that currently does not exist. He continuously calls the disputed territories in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict "occupied" and refers to Israelis and Jews as racists. His one-sided and approving characterization of the Palestinian "resistance" which began in 2001 (and not 2002, as stated), allegedly in response to Sharon's visit to the grounds--under Israeli control--of the Al Aqsa Mosque, is noted as the cause of the second wave of suicide/homicide attacks against Israeli civilians. Worse yet, Honderich states that Palestinians have "a moral right to terrorism." His egregious mischaracterization of the Middle East conflict casts a pall over his entire project. Finally, he dismisses those who would disagree with him as left uninformed by American media. The section entitled "Terrorism Defined" lacks any reference to scholarly works. Not recommended. A. S. Rosenbaum Cleveland State University

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
1. Good Lives, Bad Lives
Living longerp. 1
Other great goodsp. 4
Half-lives and under-fivesp. 6
Necessary inquiryp. 7
Less than half-lives, and a reasonp. 12
Reassuring ourselvesp. 14
Quarter-livesp. 16
Larger numbersp. 18
Great goods againp. 20
More reassurance?p. 22
Not an omissionp. 24
2. Natural and Other Morality
Natural moralityp. 30
More to natural morality, and its inescapabilityp. 34
Worked-out moralitiesp. 37
Libertarianismp. 40
Liberalismp. 46
The principle of humanityp. 51
3. Did We Wrong Them? Do We Wrong Them?
Political realismp. 58
A morality of relationshipp. 61
A general distinction, and a mysteryp. 63
Libertarianism, liberalism, humanity againp. 69
Acts and omissionsp. 73
Causes and conditionsp. 76
Good intentionsp. 78
Another hope, and a conclusion or twop. 81
4. The Twin Towers, and Democracy
Oneness in extremityp. 89
Definitions of violencep. 91
Terrorism definedp. 97
Why some say September 11 was wrongp. 100
Democracyp. 105
Hierarchic democracyp. 110
Why September 11 was wrongp. 115
5. Our Responsibility, and What to do
Moral confidencep. 121
Our share in September 11p. 124
Capitalismp. 129
Our counter-attackp. 140
What is to be donep. 147
6. Later thoughts on Terrorism for Humanity
Some particular moral propositionsp. 155
Killing innocents, and the problem of an impulse about itp. 158
The morality of humanity againp. 162
Whether some terrorism is for humanityp. 167
Innocents, our fundamental moral concepts, double effectp. 170
Conventional viewsp. 175
Factual and moral truthsp. 177
Democracy, and a conclusion about conventionp. 181
Actual justification of some terrorism for humanityp. 183
Unrueful Postscriptp. 187
Indexp. 189