C. D. Broad


Review of Kneale, Robinson, and Mundle Symposium

If I may say so with respect, I think that there are two things in Mrs. Kneale's paper which diminish its value as an introduction to the Symposium. One is that she thought it desirable to argue her case on the assumption that philosophy consists of linguistic analysis. The other is that she has given an ostensive definition of "psychical research" by reference to Mr. Tyrrell book, The Personality of Man. As regards the former, I can only say that I seldom find it illuminating to discuss philosophical questions in purely linguistic terms. It seems to me often to involve translating fairly straightforward and simply expressible questions into a contorted and pedantic terminology, with the risk of omitting factors which are relevant and introducing others which are contingent and irrelevant because they depend on the linguistic usages of particular races and cultures. As regards the latter, it is well to bear in mind that Mr. Tyrrell, beside having made valuable contributions to experimental and theoretical psychical research, is an enthusiastic amateur philosopher, and that he also strongly believes that a general recognition of the established results of psychical research would have far-reaching good effects. This latter personal conviction of Mr. Tyrrell's seems to have acted as a red herring to Mr. Robinson and led him to conclude his paper with a discussion of the effects for good or ill which would probably follow if

Reprinted from The Journal of Parapsychology, volume 15 ( 1951), pp. 216-223, by permission of the editors.

-110-

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