This now-classic work challenges what Ryle calls philosophy's "official theory," the Cartesians "myth" of the separation of mind and matter. Ryle's linguistic analysis remaps the conceptual geography of mind, not so much solving traditional philosophical problems as dissolving them into the mere consequences of misguided language. His plain language and esstentially simple purpose place him in the traditioin of Locke, Berkeley, Mill, and Russell.
First published in 1949, Gilbert Ryle ’s The Concept of Mind is one of the classics of twentieth-century philosophy. Described by Ryle as a ‘sustained piece of analytical hatchet-work’ on Cartesian dualism, The Concept of Mind is a radical and controversial attempt to jettison once and for all what Ryle called ‘the ghost in the machine’: Descartes’ argument that mind and body are two separate entities. This sixtieth anniversary edition includes a substantial commentary by Julia Tanney and is essential reading (...) for new readers interested not only in the history of analytic philosophy but in its power to challenge major currents in philosophy of mind and language today. (shrink)
This is, as from the author of The Concept of Mind it could scarcely fail to be, a bold and rollicking book. It is also one of the most important works about Plato to have appeared since the first volume of Sir Karl Popper's The Open Society. Whereas The Concept of Mind was a general offensive against Cartesian views of man, eschewing any precise references to particular sources, Plato's Progress deals with scholarly questions of datings and developments, showing and demanding (...) familiarity with a wide literature. Yet Professor Ryle is still incapable as ever of the dry-as-dust. (shrink)
Just as there was a vogue at one time for identifying thinking either with mere processions or with more or less organised processions of images, so there is a vogue now for identifying thinking with something oddly called ‘language’, namely with more or less organised processions of bits of French or English, etc.
There is a certain emotion of repugnance which I, and I hope a good many would-be philosophers, feel when asked the conventional question, “If you are a philosopher, to what school of thought do you belong? Are you an Idealist or a Realist, a Platonist or a Hobbist, a Monist or a Pluralist?”.