Analytic Philosophy

Noam Chomsky

Who was Gilbert Ryle and what was his thesis?

Gilbert Ryle (1900–1976) was the Oxford philosophy professor who edited the journal Mind after G.E. Moore (1873–1958). He is famous for having conclusively taken philosophers to task for talking about the mind as though it were “the ghost in the machine.” He attacked the lingering Cartesian idea of the mind as a non-physical entity related to the body in ways that could not be explained. Instead, he said statements that were about the mind should be viewed as meaningful only if they could be explained in terms of actual behavior or behavioral tendencies.


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