Essay on The Fundamental Language Of Dualism

1496 Words Dec 14th, 2015 6 Pages
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 question.
Ryle’s who point is to prove that “the official doctrine” that is dualism, is
“entirely false, and false not in detail but in principle” (Ryle). The basis for this argument lies in his claim that the “category mistake” represents “the facts of mental life as if they belonged to one logical type or category…when they actually belong to another” (Ryle). To explain what he means by a “category mistake,” Ryle explains that to give an object made of immaterial substance properties of real substance is wrong. He then claims this same fault lies within dualism, the mind-body problem. He argues on this claim by saying that to maintain the existence of both bodies and minds simultaneously, both mental processes and physical…

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