Thursday, August 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Gilbert Ryle (1900-1976)

A very influential 20th century philosopher, who coined the famous phrase "ghost in the machine" to describe Cartesian dualism, which he adamantly (and rightly) opposed. Ryle also came up with the concept of "category mistake" to describe attributions of properties to things, entities, or ideas that they could not possibly possess. For instance, it would be a category mistake to speak of the chemical composition of "minds" or memes. Ryle's concept is perpetually useful for disentangling conceptual and logical confusions.

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