Gilbert Ryle

Gilbert
Ryle
1900
1976

British Philosopher

Author Quotes

A person who has a good nose for arguments or jokes may have a bad head for facts.

Chronicles are not explanatory of what they record.

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.

My today's self perpetually slips out of any hold of it that I may try to take.

So too Plato was, in my view, a very unreliable Platonist. He was too much of a philosopher to think that anything he had said was the last word.

Such in outline is the official theory. I shall often speak of it, with deliberate abusiveness, as 'the dogma of the Ghost in the Machine'.

The nature of a person’s motives may be defined by the actions and reactions of that person in various circumstances or situations. The nature of a person’s motives in a particular situation may not necessarily be determined by any hidden mental processes or intellectual acts within that person. Motives may be revealed or explained by a person’s behavior in a situation.

There are moments of existence when time and space are more profound, and the awareness of existence is immensely heightened.

There is no contradiction between saying that a given action is governed by physical laws and that it is governed by principles of reasoning. The motives of observable actions are not hidden mental processes; they are propensities or dispositions that explain why these behaviors occur. For example, the disposition to want or not want something is not explained by an intellectual act of wanting or not wanting that thing. The disposition to want something is explained by the behaviors that are involved in wanting that thing. Thus, the mind consists of various abilities or dispositions that explain such behaviors as learning, remembering, knowing, feeling, or willing. However, personal abilities or dispositions are not the same as mental processes or events. To refer to abilities or dispositions as if they are mental occurrences is to make a basic kind of category-mistake.

To explode a myth is accordingly not to deny the facts but to re-allocate them.

When two terms belong to the same category, it is proper to construct conjunctive propositions embodying them. Thus a purchaser ma y say that he bought a left-hand glove and a right- hand glove, but not that he bought a left-hand glove, a right- hand glove, and a pair of gloves. 'She came home in a flood of tears and a sedan-chair' is a well-known joke based on the absurdity of conjoining terms of different types. Now the dogma of the Ghost in the Machine does just this. It maintains that there exist both bodies and minds.

Philosophy is the replacement of category-habits by category-disciplines.

The dogma of the Ghost in the machine… maintains that there exists both bodies and minds; that there are mechanical causes of corporeal movements and mental causes of corporeal movements.

A myth is, of course, not a fairy story. It is the presentation of facts belonging to one category in the idioms appropriate to another. To explode a myth is accordingly not to deny the facts but to re-allocate them.

Man need not be degraded to a machine by being denied to be a ghost in a machine.

Author Picture
First Name
Gilbert
Last Name
Ryle
Birth Date
1900
Death Date
1976
Bio

British Philosopher