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A Macat Analysis of Gilbert Ryle's The Concept of Mind

Narrated by: Macat.com
Length: 1 hr and 40 mins
Categories: Nonfiction, Philosophy
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Publisher's Summary

What we think of as the "mind" is little more than an illusion. That's the provocative thesis of British philosopher Gilbert Ryle's 1949 work The Concept of Mind.

Seventeenth-century French writer René Descartes, one of the fathers of philosophy, imagined the mind and body as two separate entities that combine to form a human being. This concept came to be called "mind-body dualism." Ryle set about ridiculing Descartes's idea of, as he put it, a "ghost in the machine" stating that it was "entirely false, and false not in detail but in principle...not merely an assemblage of particular mistakes. It is one big mistake and a mistake of a special kind."

Ryle argues that our distinction between concepts pertaining to the mind and others pertaining to matter arise from a problematic use of language (and particularly through what he calls "category mistakes").

In The Concept of Mind, his best-known and most important book, Ryle establishes a new branch of philosophy, "the philosophy of mind." The work remains an important statement in mid-20th-century philosophy.

You can find out more about how Ryle's ideas have been challenged and applied - and how his work has impacted on thinkers in other academic disciplines - by exploring further in the Macat Library.

Macat's analyses cover 14 different subjects in the humanities and social sciences. To browse our whole multi media library and get a lot more, visit www.macat.com today.

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