C. D. Broad

It is plain that Absolutism is the philosophical expression of an aspect of reality which has profoundly impressed some of the greatest thinkers in all parts of the world and at all periods of human history. If the Vedantists, Plotinus, Spinoza, and Hegel (to mention no others) all talked what appears, when literally interpreted, to be nonsense, it is surely a most significant fact that men of such high intelligence and of such different races and traditions should independently have talked such very similar nonsense. Dr Tennant, in his Philosophical Theology, after quoting a characteristic passage from Jakob Boehme, as characteristically remarks that “the critic does well to call nonsense by its name”. No doubt he does. But he does not do so well if he ignores the problem presented by the concurrence of so much similar nonsense from so many independent and intellectually respectable sources. To me, for one, this fact strongly suggests that there is a genuine and important aspect of reality, which is either ineffable, or, if not, is extremely hard to express coherently in language which was, no doubt, constructed to deal with other aspects of the universe.

C. D. Broad, Examination of McTaggart’s Philosophy, Cambridge, 1933, vol. 1, pp. li-lii.