more from Gilbert Ryle

Single Idea 2620

[catalogued under 17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 1. Dualism]

Full Idea

The official theory of mind (as private, non-spatial, outside physical laws) I call 'the dogma of the Ghost in the Machine'. I hope to prove it entirely false, and show that it is one big mistake, namely a 'category mistake'.

Gist of Idea

Dualism is a category mistake


Gilbert Ryle (The Concept of Mind [1949], I (2))

Book Reference

Ryle,Gilbert: 'The Concept of Mind' [Penguin 1949], p.17

A Reaction

This is the essence of Ryle's eliminitavist behaviourism. Personally I agree that the idea of a separate 'ghost' running the machine is utterly implausible, but it isn't a 'category mistake'. The mind clearly exists, but the confusion is about what it is.