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The Enigma Of The Universe : C. E. M. Joad

Published: 31.08.2014
Updated: 02.07.2015

Dr. C. E. M. Joad, who is widely known for his discourses on philosophy and psychology is also a staunch supporter of realism. In his famous work Guide to Philosophy, Dr. Joad has critically discussed several philosophical views such as subjective idealism, realism, positivism, modern idealism, which deal with the nature of reality. Expressing his views on the subject, he writes: "It is clear that whenever I have any kind of experience, whether I am dreaming, thinking, having hallucinations, or merely perceiving, something is dreamt, thought, hallucinated, or perceived, and that my mind has some relation to this something."

This statement shows that in Dr. Joad's view, the external object has a real existence independent of the percipient's mind or perception. Hence, he con-cludes: "It is a characteristic at once common and peculiar to all mental acts that they should be aware of something other than themselves. To say of an act that it is mental is, indeed, to say of it that it is an awareness of something other than itself. This conclusion entails the corollary that the "something other" of which there is awareness, is unaffected by the mind's awareness of it. As experienced, in other words, it is precisely what it would be, if it were not being experienced.[1] Thus, the external object has an objective existence; when it is perceived by us through senses, it is related to us-the percipients-but the process of its perception by us has no effect on its existence.

Dr. Joad also believes in an independent existence of mind. In his view, "mind" is an objective reality different from matter. On the basis of epistemological and psychological analysis, he has proved this fact. He concludes his arguments thus: "In addition to the body and brain, the composition of the living organism includes an immaterial element which we call mind; this element, although it is in very close association with the brain, is more than a mere glow or halo surrounding the cerebral structure, the function of which is confined to reflecting the events occurring in that structure; on the contrary, it is in some sense independent of the brain, and in virtue of its independence is able in part to direct and control the material constituents of the body, using them to carry out its purposes in relation to the external world of objects, much as a driver will make use of the mechanism of his motor car."[2]


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Title: The Enigma Of The Universe Publisher: JVB University Ladnun English Edition: 2010 HN4U Online Edition: 2014

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