No, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Russell, I think it was someone a bit less well known to non-philosophers.
Randomly clicking around through lists of philosophers made me think for a minute it might be Gilbert Ryle, but I honestly have no good reason to think so, just a sort of resonance on the name, and searching on Ryle and on some of those words didn’t help much, so it’s actually probably not him either.
I think it’s not Quine. IMO Quine would never argue along those lines. He also said “Whistling in the dark is not the method of true philosophy”, which I would argue is inconsistent with the remark I tried to reproduce – that sounds a lot like whistling in the dark to me :)
What I really want is to find the actual passage, whether it’s Moore or Frankfurt or whomever… However, I was hoping someone would just by some fluke remember, I think actually bothering to inquire amongst colleagues might be going a bit too far – but far be it from me to hold you back :)
Some characters in a story I’m fiddling with seem to be talking about philosophy, and I thought one of them might bring up that remark as an argument against supernatural phenomena.