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The Concept of Mind

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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  823 ratings  ·  20 reviews
This now-classic work challenges what Ryle calls philosophy's "official theory," the Cartesians "myth" of the separation of mind and matter. Ryle's linguistic analysis remaps the conceptual geography of mind, not so much solving traditional philosophical problems as dissolving them into the mere consequences of misguided language. His plain language and esstentially simple ...more
Paperback, 348 pages
Published December 15th 2000 by University Of Chicago Press (first published January 1st 1949)
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Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich NietzscheThe Republic by PlatoCritique of Pure Reason by Immanuel KantMeditations by Marcus AureliusBeing and Time by Martin Heidegger
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Rhonda
This is a monumental book in modern philosophy which sets out to destroy the issue of dualism, expressed most succinctly by Descartes and often referred to as the mind/body problem. As a graduate student perusing this text, I was dismayed to read as Ryle apparently destroyed argument after argument which sustained Cartesian thinking.

Though this left me profoundly impressed at the time, I did not realize until much later that destroying a series of arguments concerning a given thing is not the s
...more
Rand
Jun 03, 2015 Rand added it
Shelves: philosophy, aha
My father's father's name is Gilbert Royal, Sr.

A riel is a monetary unit in one of those Asian countries, I forget which.

Sometimes I get riled up in a solipsistic muddle. It can become rather uncomfortable.

The copy of this book I was given early one morning was from a shared bookshelf in a shared rental residence that included at least one cat, at some point in time.

I am severely allergic to cats. I have been told by various health professionals that that allergy is in fact due to a specific pr
...more
sologdin
lotsa fun. presents the well known "ghost in the machine" thesis, and develops the fallacy "category mistake." presents a persuasive deductive critique of the concept of "volition." eat that, objectivists!
Matej
A valiant effort to analyse the ways in which qualities of the mind are invoed in both everyday and scientific discourse. The central thrust of the book is to give a deflationary account of the mental. Quite unlike the traditional Cartesian picture of the mental realm, where mental acts and mental entities dwell, Ryle presents qualities of the mind as modes of engaging with the world - as skills, modifications of behaviour, or processes.
This analysis points out serious difficulties with the trad
...more
Dan Cohen

I found this a long hard struggle to read through. Maybe because it's been nearly 30 years since I read any analytical philosophy, maybe because I found his arguments obscure, or maybe because I found the book repetitive. His attack on "the ghost in the machine" starts off well and he introduces his main technique of categorising concepts to illustrate how concepts of the wrong category can be misapplied. So far so good. He also introduces his infinite series argument (the ghost in the ghost in
...more
Frank Spencer
certainly a classic; still has information that makes you think
Alexander Francis
Concept of Mind
The common conception of how minds work is engrained in every facet of western society and culture. For centuries philosophers have been operating on various assumptions that without putting them to the test. This belief is that all humans, except possibly infants and idiots, have both a body and a mind. Human bodies are in space where human minds work outside of space. Being outside of space minds are not observable and therefore the possessors of these minds have privileged acc
...more
Tyler
Feb 25, 2012 Tyler rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of Philosophy
Shelves: philosophy
Descartes helped establish the idea of the mind as a separate entity from the body, separate, perhaps, to the point of having altogether different origins. His theory bridged a gap opening up in his day between a newly natural conception of the universe and the traditional supernatural one. Cartesian dualism, in other words, made the intellectual arena safe for both scientists and theologians. Three centuries later comes this book, whose author, Gilbert Ryle, has decided to put paid to the two-t ...more
Anthony
i've read 5 chapters of this (the first four and the last). i don't know if i'll ever read the middle chapters so i may as well review it. ryle is an engaging writer, so the text moves quickly. the comments of two professors on the section where he lays out the "category mistake" at the heart of cartesian dualism led me to re-read this section in particular, and conclude that it's a rather sketchily drawn analogy that doesn't give you much reason to reject cartesian dualism. (for the record, i t ...more
Jan Schoehuijs
Geeft een duidelijke uitleg dat en waarom de lichaam/geest definitie van Descartes niet klopt.
Vult het probleem aan met een uitstekende uitleg dat wat hij 'the ghost in the machine' noemt alleen gezin kan worden met een grote differentiatie.
Ook legt hij uit dat de 'sense date theory' niet klopt en aan het zelfde manco onderhevig is.
Racheet
This book felt very much like a lite version of Heidegger's corpus. Do yourself a favour and skip directly to "Being and Time", the heavy handholding and excessively drawn out explanations of simple arguments make this book a frustrating and dull read.
Michael Dorais
This book is "must read" in the subject of philosophy of mind even if it is a bit tedious in parts. Rather than taking it as reducing the mind to observable behavior, I took it as showing how what we talk about as mind is a natural part of our dispositions and activity as a living human animal that is not necessarily as mysterious and hidden as some philosophy and religion makes it out to be. His challenge to Descartes's dualism ( as the ghost in the machine) it's classic. It is worth contending ...more
Steven Williams
I didn't think it was that great, but I found his critique of descarte believable.
Tantria
good
Andrew
Oct 14, 2014 Andrew marked it as toreadphil
Recommended to Andrew by: ToReadPhil
Shelves: pel
“Descartes’ Myth.“
Matt
An interesting book essential to a complete understanding of the history of philosophy of mind. However, I neither agree with the ordinary language philosophical methodology nor with the deflationary analysis of mind. I am grateful that most contemporary philosophers of mind agree with me here.
Coquille Fleur
Ugh, read this in a college philosophy class. *still shudders at the thought* I just couldn't buy this concept, maybe I'm too much of a romantic to believe we're just reactions. Give me Leibniz any day!
Deniz Cem Önduygu
"A sort of philosophical guerrilla warfare that never settles into or commits to a positive 'theory' for long enough to permit a well-aimed attack." (from Dennett's "Re-Introducing The Concept of Mind")
Craig Herbertson
It's tough and indeed mind boggling but Ryle writes clearly about a tenuous subject - almost worth it for his lovely examples of cricketers and games
Kc
read 3 chapters for a course.
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Gilbert Ryle was a British philosopher, and a representative of the generation of British ordinary language philosophers influenced by Wittgenstein's insights into language, and is principally known for his critique of Cartesian dualism, for which he coined the phrase "the ghost in the machine". Some of his ideas in the philosophy of mind have been referred to as "behaviourist" (not to be confused ...more
More about Gilbert Ryle...
Dilemmas: The Tarner Lectures 1953 Collected Papers Volume 1: Critical Essays Collected Papers Volume 2: Collected Essays 1929 - 1968 Plato's Progress On Thinking

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“A person who has a good nose for arguments or jokes may have a bad head for facts.” 8 likes
“Minds are not bits of clockwork, they are just bits of not-clockwork. As thus represented, minds are not merely ghosts harnessed to machines, they are themselves just spectral machines. . . . Now the dogma of the Ghost in the Machine does just this. It maintains that there exist both bodies and minds; that there occur physical processes and mental processes; that there are mechanical causes of corporeal movements and mental causes of corporeal movements. I shall argue that these and other analogous conjunctions are absurd.” 3 likes
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