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REVIEWS 433 Lewis's critical bias, which leaves a major part of his undertakingthe contribution of humanism in shaping English literature in the sixteenth century-still to be satisfactorily traversed. BROAD MINDED PHILOSOPHY· T. A. COUDOE Contemporary philosophers can for the most part be divided into two groups. There are those whose thought is clear and precise but whose range of interests is narrow; and there are those whose interests are synoptic but whose thought is woolly. C. D. Broad, until recently Knightbridge Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, is one of the few persons who has succeeded in combining breadth of outlook with lucid, accurate, and responsible thought. For more than forty years he has discussed effectively a wide variety of topics in his published work. These topics extend all the way from the philosophy of science, epistemology, and ethics to the philosophy of mind, natural theology, and psychical research. Much of his work, however, is in the fonn of essays which have become rather inaccessible . A representative selection of them, such as the present volume provides, is.therefore extremely welcome. Broad's way of doing philosophy is akin to that of Locke and Hume. Like them, he has not attempted to construct a metaphysical system in the grand manner. But at the same time, although he lived for several decades behind the Wittgensteinian iron curtain, he has remained unconverted to the view that metaphysical statements are devoid of meaning. Broad's method has been to take up various traditional philosophic problems, to analyse each of them with great thoroughness and subtlety, and to seek for solutions which will be in accord with the demands of logical argument and empirical evidence. The result, if not always soul-stirring, has generally thrown valuable light on the problems and cleared up a number of long-standing muddles. The present volume contains some excellent illustrations of this method. The opening essay, for example, is a long, careful discussion of the relevance of psychical research to philosophy. Unlike most of his academic colleagues, who brush off the subject as mere quackery, Broad has taken a serious interest in alleged paranonnal occurrences. He is a fonner president of the Society for Psychical Research, and *Religion. Philosophy and Psychical Research: Selected Essays. By C. D. BROAD. London: Routledge & Kegan Pau1 Ltd. [Toronto: British Book Service (Canada) Ltd.]. 1953. pp. viii, 308. $5.00. 434 UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO QUARTERLY while holding that office, delivered an address on "Nonnal Cognition, Clairvoyance and Telepathy," which is reprinted here. Broad repeatedly declares that before dogmatically rejecting the claims of psychical researchers, philosophers ought to look into the evidence adduced to support those claims. For even if only a minute fraction of the evidence turns out to be genuine, the consequences for philosophy will be momentous. He himself considers that the experimental results of Dr. Soal in England and Professor Rhine in the United States show that various fonns of paranonnal cognition do take place. He also remarks: "for my own part, I have no doubt that telepathy among nonnal human beings happens from time to time" (p. 27). Beyond this he is not prepared to go at the moment, though he thinks that with regard to the alleged evidence for human survival after death, philosophers ought to keep an open mind. The attitude to psychical research taken by two philosophers, Immanuel Kant and Henry Sidgwick, is presented in a pair of interesting essays which complete the first section of the book. There follows a group of essays which investigate certain classical topics in natural theology. The titles of the essays are: "The Validity of Belief in a Personal God," "Arguments for the Existence of God," "Bishop Butler as a Theologian," and "The Present Relations of Science and Religion." All four are models of lucid, reasoned discussion . Professor Broad is himself a non-Christian and a non-theist. But he is quite unemotional and objective in setting forth his arguments , and rejects both Christian and theistic doctrines on purely philosophical grounds. The findings of the empirical sciences, while they enter into the picture, are never espoused uncritically or given more than their due weight. Indeed, he holds "that...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 433-435
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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