[hist-analytic] C. D. Broad, Russell, and Wittgenstein

steve bayne baynesrb at yahoo.com
Sat Feb 21 07:21:45 EST 2009


Probably, most every significant philosopher of the period had 
read Broad's _Mind and Its Place in Nature_. In my opinion it
is one of the best half dozen books ever written in philosophy
of mind. I recall going through the, Bergmann archives at the
University of Iowa at Iowa City. Bergmann used Broad extensively.
He refers to Broad as "the best second rate mind of the century."
Coming from Bergmann that is high praise! Russell never liked
Broad and said so. Although Broad's dissertation was done under
Russell and, I think, Moore, when it was published Russell gave
it a luke-warm review, saying something like: "He can do better
than this." Well a few years later The Mind and Its Place in
Nature came out. It's worth mentioning that the criticisms of
Russell's neutral monism are very good. I think the best leveled
against the theory, ever. I was particularly struck by the
sophistication of the chapter "Traces and Dispositions." I was
amused by a comment by Bergmann, scrawled like graffitti on a
prison wall, something like: "I can go no further, such is the
boredom!" And, yet, I've found this chapter very good. Russell,
in fact adopts criticisms leveled against Russell in the Analysis
of Mind, without acknowledgement.

Let me tell you a little story, nothing much, related to me by 
the late Cal Rollins, a student of Wittgenstein's. Rollins was
assigned Broad as advisor or some such. He went into Broad's 
office and mentioned his interest in Wittgenstein. Broad is
said to have peered over his glasses and said: "Are you sure
you want to do this? You know Wittgenstein is a very queer
fellow." What I loved about the story was that I had never
known Broad wore glasses. Broad, it has been reported, was
one of the few never intimidated by Wittgenstein. His former
lover went on to win the Nobel in Medicine. Broad was a
"character." I admire his philosophical work. I admire Grice's
work. They are hardly comparable, except in the excellence
and high standards they set, now somewhat forgotten.

Regards

Steve Bayne

--- On Fri, 2/20/09, Jlsperanza at aol.com <Jlsperanza at aol.com> wrote:
From: Jlsperanza at aol.com <Jlsperanza at aol.com>
Subject: Common Sensal and Extraordinary Language
To: hist-analytic at simplelists.co.uk
Date: Friday, February 20, 2009, 10:04 PM

A little tribute to Charlie Dunbar. 
 
           cavell, v. An  exquisitely sensitive distinction of language, 
hence cavellier, adj.  characterizing a writing style common among
extraordinary 
language  philosophers.
 
 
 
 
Clarity is _never_ enough! Ask Broad!
 
 
1896 Violeta WELBY in Mind V. 29 
 
"We might be allowed to coin a new derivative and speak of ‘sensal’
where  
we often now speak of ‘verbal’ questions."
 
        Yes, but then again we might  not. 
 
 
 1938 C. D. BROAD Exam. McTaggart's Philos. II. VII. xxxiii. 249, 
 
"I conclude then that McTaggart's argument against the possibility of 

extended particulars, whether material or sensal, breaks down at the fourth
step  in 
my synopsis of it."




mctaggart, n. A black hole which not only sheds no light but in which time  
stands still. "Some mctaggarts are rather broad."  --  Dennett.

otherwise, adj. Knowing the difference between two philosophers  with 
identical interests and the same name, hence otherwisdom

In a message dated 2/20/2009 8:14:35 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
baynesrb at yahoo.com writes:

>Maybe a more curious connection is that between Broad and John Wisdom. 
>I was never a big Wisdom fan. I certainly didn't cut my teeth on 
Wisdom, 
>but I did do some cutting, Broadly speaking. 
 
I did find his prose refreshing! Those "Other Minds" articles are
gems.  
Otherwise, his cousin is never so bright (but then his middle name was Oulton).

 
>Wisdom (somewhat like Von Wright) was at 
>one time very much under the influence of Broad. 
 
-- Well, they would see each other's face almost every morning I would 
hope! 
What a man, Wisdom -- "Some like Moore, but Wisdom's my man", I
say.
 
 
>Broad and Grice have very different ideas about 
>how to pursue philosophy. 
 
Yes, and broadly speaking, Charlie Dunbar would label Grice's a
'trivial  
pursuit', rather. 
 
>One thing I've always like 
>about Broad is his incredible understanding of people like Kant and  
Leibniz, 
>as well as his work on sense data. Remember he is really far removed  
generationally from Grice. 
>But you know somethin'? I can't think of any reason to believe that
 Broad 
would 
>have taken issue with Grice on 'meaning'! 
 
But then he would have been bored, Grice -- he loved people taking _issue_  
with him! 
 
schiffer, n. (from Neurath, "Wie Schiffer send wir.") One who uses
great  
ingenuity in repairing a sinking ship. "There's no griceful way of
saving this  
theory; even the rats have abandoned ship. There's no one aboard but the  
schiffer." 
 
-----
 
But yes. And of course, Grice's citing Broad in 1941 is perhaps pretty  
plausible. It was an article for _Mind_ and that was led by Moore (a Cambridge 

one). 
 
I can't quote right now the Broad ref. in Grice (1941) but see that Grice  
starts on p. 330 of that 1941 volume, and who do you think had just finished  
writing on p. 329? None other than good ole John Wisdom, on "Other
Minds". Talk  
of a small world.
 
Read from an online dictionary:
 
"sense datum was coined by Moore in 1909" -- 
 
I hate that type of loose use of 'coin' when the OED tidily notes:
 
1882 J. ROYCE in Mind VII. 44 What relation does the external reality bear  
to the sense-datum? 
 
1890 W. JAMES Princ. Psychol. II. xx. 146 
It is no wonder if some authors have gone so far as to think that the  
sense-data have no spatial worth at all. 
 
"Broad was Russell's pupil and his preferred term was 'sensum'
(1914) not  
really 'sense-datum' that Russell had used (1912). And then there's
"Price"  
("Price had studied with Moore before he returned to Oxford -- where he
taught  
Wilfrid Sellars". 'Taught' him only to find hisself refuted by
him. Some 
tutees!  (I say that jocularly as I know Bayne loves Sellars too much). 
 
cfr. 
 
1923 C. D. BROAD Sci. Thought viii. 240 
 
"Such objects as y I am going to call Sensa." -- and we are going to 
try and 
follow you. 
 
I *have* to paste the 51 entries for Broad in the OED -- de-love-lee!
 
But isn't Bayne write about Broad understanding "Kant"!:

1933 C. D. BROAD Exam. McTaggart's Philos. I. II. vii. 144 It will be  
remembered that Kant, in criticising the Scholastic argument from the
simplicity  of 
the soul to its immortality, said that it might cease to exist by  ‘
elanguescence’, as a sound dies away without ‘coming to bits’. 
 
I would think Grice (1941) draws on Broad for 'mnemic' listed below. I
seem  
to recall he also makes (Grice does) a complicated point about what kind of  
construction it is he is dealing with ('logical', but what type of
logical  
construction) and I seem to remember he credits Broad for some broad (and not
so  
broad) distinctions there.
 
1925 C. D. BROAD Mind & its Place viii. 377 Experiences which are owned  in

senses (2) or (3) may be said to be ‘*mnemically owned’.

Then there's 
1941 Mind 50 417 The only perceptible difference between conscious and  
non-conscious behaviour is *mnemicness.
 
but that mouthful can't be Grice's for his essay ends on p. 350!
 
 
 
Cheers,
 
JL


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