Gilbert Ryle Criticism Of Dualism

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Some of the best questions in philosophy arise from the nature of the mind. What makes up the mind and whether or not the mind is something more than just a brain is something tough to answer. Although in 1949, Gilbert Ryle disrupted this understanding of dualism by claiming this belief is a “ghost in the machine” and commits a “category mistake” (Ryle). Ryle intends to challenge dualism, not fight against it. He rewrites some of the fundamental language of dualism so that he can more clearly point out the problems with what others have said about it. Fighting equally as hard, Descartes defends what he has said, but by picking apart dualism, Ryle successfully debuts what Descartes has preached and manages to not reveal an answer to the underlying …show more content…
He is not wrong in his criticism of the fundamental language of dualism. For instance, saying there is a soul inside the body would be a mistake. Prepositions like in, out, and around have an unavoidable physical tone. If there is a soul, it cannot be “inside” the body. This kind of soul would be “nowhere” because it would not exist in space and would have no physical location. It would seem Ryle just wants Cartesians to be more careful with the words they use to explain dualism. It is not right to describe dualism in prepositional terminology. Someone like Descartes could say I am essentially “a thing that thinks” (Descartes), or “I…can exist without [my body]” (Cottingham), or like Ryle’s explanation, “every human being is both a body and a mind” (Ryle). On the grounds of language comprehension, neither of these statements commit a category …show more content…
Ryle is suggesting you accept his explanation of why dualism commits a category mistake on the grounds of non dualistic ontology! Although he does argue that the original language explaining dualism is wrong. The way Ryle is critiquing dualism is problematic because for one to build a case against dualism based on beliefs external to dualism is inaccurate. Ryle continues to flip flop between internal and external terminology. Ryle objects to using the term “inside” to describe mental happenings because to do so would require the process to be observable in some sense. So when Descartes states “mental happenings occur in insulated fields” (Ryle), Ryle calls him out. However, there is no such thing as to suspect this statement of making a category mistake. It would be acceptable for Ryle to argue on this case, but he does so with intertwined talk of his own presuppositions of

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