Cyril E. M. Joad


Cyril Edwin Mitchinson Joad was an English philosopher and broadcasting personality. He appeared on The Brains Trust, a BBC Radio wartime discussion programme. He managed to popularise philosophy and became a celebrity, before his downfall in a scandal over an unpaid train ticket in 1948.

In 1910, Joad went to Balliol College, Oxford. It was here that he developed his skills as a philosopher and debater. He entered the Board of Trade in 1914 after attending a Fabian Summer School. His aim was to infuse the civil service with a socialist ethos. He worked as a civil servant for the Labour Exchanges Department of the Board of Trade, which later became the Ministry of Labour. In the months leading up to the First World War he displayed "ardent" pacifism, which resulted in political controversy. Joad, along with Bernard Shaw, and Bertrand Russell became unpopular with many who were trying to encourage soldiers to fight for their country. In 1930, however, he left the civil service to fill the post of Head of the Department of Philosophy and Psychology at Birkbeck College, University of London.He popularised philosophy, and many other great philosophers of the day were beginning to take him seriously. With his two books, Guide to Modern Thought (1933) and Guide to Philosophy (1936), he became a well-known figure in public society.

Joad was an outspoken controversialist; he declared his main intellectual influences were George Bernard Shaw and H. G. Wells. He was strongly critical of contemporary philosophical trends such as Marxism, Behaviorism and Psychoanalysis.Joad was also interested in the supernatural and partnered Harry Price on a number of ghost-hunting expeditions, also joining the Ghost Club of which Price became the president. He involved himself in psychical research, travelling to the Harz Mountains to help Price to test whether the 'Bloksberg Tryst' would turn a male goat into a handsome prince at the behest of a maiden pure in heart; it did not

Other names - versions: 
Cyril Edwin Mitchinson Joad
Date and Place of Birth: 
1891 Durham England
Date and Place of Death: 
1953 Hampstead England