Book Review | Published:

[Short Reviews]

Nature volume 142, page 665 (08 October 1938) | Download Citation



WITH the publication of these two parts of his “Examination”, the detailed exposition and criticism of “The Nature of Existence” is brought to its completion with that touch of brilliant scholarship which characterizes the works of Prof. Broad. The profound meaning of McTaggart's philosophy is thus brought to light in a much larger work: it could scarcely be otherwise, if a thorough discussion of all the details of that great system was contemplated. In comparing “The Nature of Existence” with the “Examination”, one cannot help feeling as much admiration for the analytical and critical effort of the second as for the powerful synthetic composition of the first. Here we can feel two minds grappling together with the major problems of thought and existence which have been the concern of the great thinkers of all times. It is then a kind of anti-climax to see Prof. Broad write at the end of his inquiry, that he was struck by the “thinness” of McTaggart's philosophy ; and that he asked himself whether all this speculative effort was worth doing at all. But perhaps it is in the very imperfection of all human attempts to solve the riddle of existence and yet in their ineluctable urge of trying to do so, that the eminent critic as well as any modest reader may find a cause for wonder at the achievements of the human intellect.

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