C.D. Broad

Charlie Dunbar Broad (1887–1971), British philosopher, studied at Trinity College, Cambridge (1906–10), where he came in contact with BR, whose work had the greatest influence on him, though he was taught primarily by W.E. Johnson and J.M.E. McTaggart. (He wrote the definitive refutation of McTaggart’s philosophy after the latter’s death.) In 1911 BR examined Broad’s fellowship dissertation, which was published as Perception, Physics, and Reality (1914) and which BR reviewed in Mind in 1918 (15 in Papers 8). BR reviewed more books by Broad in the 1920s, and Broad returned the favour over the decades. Outstanding among his reviews was that of the first volume of BR’s Autobiography in The Philosophical Review 77 (1968): 455–73. From 1911 to 1920 Broad taught at St. Andrews University; in 1920 he moved to Bristol as Professor of Philosophy before returning to Trinity in 1923, where, as Knightbridge Professor of Moral Philosophy, he remained for the rest of his life. He wrote extensively on a wide range of philosophical topics, including ethics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, and psychical research. His philosophical writings are marked by the impartiality and clarity with which he stated, revised, and assessed the arguments and theories with which he was dealing, rather than by originality in his own position. BR and Moore were the two philosophers with whose views his were most closely aligned. Broad was evidently devoted to BR. One of the current editors was introduced to Broad upon visiting Trinity College Library in 1966. He was keen to hear about BR from someone who had recently talked with him. Following BR’s death Broad introduced a reprint of G.H. Hardy’s Bertrand Russell and Trinity: a College Controversy of the Last War (Cambridge U. P., 1944; 1970).

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