Ryle, the Double Counting Problem, and the Logical Form of Category Mistakes

Journal of the History of Philosophy 56 (2):337-359 (2018)
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Gilbert Ryle is most famous for accusing the Cartesian dualist of committing a category mistake. Yet the nature of this accusation, and the idea of a category mistake more generally, remains woefully misunderstood. The aim of this paper is to rectify this misunderstanding. I show that Ryle does not conceive of category mistakes as mistakes of predication, as is so widely believed. Instead I show category mistakes are mistakes of conjunction and quantification. This thesis uniquely unifies and explains the wide variety of Ryle’s remarks, judgments, and arguments.



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Jonah Goldwater
College of William and Mary

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Categories.Amie Thomasson - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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