“Free Will and Affirmation: Assessing Honderich’s Third Way”

In Gregg D. Caruso (ed.), Ted Honderich on Consciousness, Determinism, and Humanity. London, UK: Palgrave. pp. Pp. 159-79. (2017)
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Abstract
In the third and final part of his A Theory of Determinism (TD) Ted Honderich addresses the fundamental question concerning “the consequences of determinism.” The critical question he aims to answer is what follows if determinism is true? This question is, of course, intimately bound up with the problem of free will and, in particular, with the question of whether or not the truth of determinism is compatible or incompatible with the sort of freedom required for moral responsibility. It is Honderich’s aim to provide a solution to “the problem of the consequences of determinism” and a key element of this is his articulation and defence of an alternative response to the implications of determinism that collapses the familiar Compatibilist/Incompatibilist dichotomy. Honderich offers us a third way – the response of “Affirmation” (HFY 125-6). Although his account of Affirmation has application and relevance to issues and features beyond freedom and responsibility, my primary concern in this essay will be to examine Honderich’s theory of “Affirmation” as it concerns the free will problem.
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