Philosophy in the Contemporary World

Volume 11, Issue 2, Fall/Winter 2004

Kevin Dodson
Pages 25-29

Omission, Commission, and Blowback
A Response to Honderich

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 have generated a number of responses by philosophers, perhaps the most controversial of which has been Ted Honderich’s book After the Terror. There Honderich inquires into the question of American responsibility for the events of September 11, 2001. Honderich argues that due to our acts of both commission and omission, we Americans bear partial responsibility for the terrorist atrocities committed on that day. In this paper, I shall take issue with Honderich’s argument and propose an alternative to it based on the concept of blowback.