- Ryle, Gilbert
born Aug. 19, 1900, Brighton, Sussex, Eng.died Oct. 6, 1976, Whitby, North YorkshireBritish philosopher, leading figure in the "ordinary language," or "Oxford" school of analytic philosophy.He became a lecturer in philosophy at Christ Church College in 1924. He was Waynflete professor of metaphysical philosophy at Oxford from 1945 to 1968 and editor of Mind from 1948 to 1971. His major work, The Concept of Mind (1949), rejects Cartesian dualism as the logically incoherent doctrine of the "ghost in the machine" and argues for a "logical behaviourism" according to which attributions of mental states need refer only to the behaviour of bodies and not to any mysterious entity hidden inside them. His other works include Philosophical Arguments (1945), Dilemmas (1954), A Rational Animal (1962), Plato's Progress (1966), and The Thinking of Thoughts (1968).
* * *▪ British philosopherborn Aug. 19, 1900, Brighton, Sussex, Eng.died Oct. 6, 1976, Whitby, North YorkshireBritish philosopher, leading figure in the “Oxford philosophy,” or “ordinary language,” movement.Ryle gained first-class honours at Queen's College, Oxford, and became a lecturer at Christ Church College in 1924. Throughout his career, which remained centred at Oxford, he attempted—as Waynflete professor of metaphysical philosophy (1945–68), in his writings, and as editor (1948–71) of the journal Mind—to dissipate confusion arising from the misapplication of language.Ryle's first book, The Concept of Mind (1949), is considered a modern classic. In it he challenges the traditional distinction between body and mind as delineated by René Descartes. Traditional Cartesian dualism, Ryle says, perpetrates a serious confusion when, looking beyond the human body (which exists in space and is subject to mechanical laws), it views the mind as an additional mysterious thing not subject to observation or to mechanical laws, rather than as the form or organizing principle of the body. What Ryle deems to be logically incoherent dogma of Cartesianism he labels as the doctrine of the ghost-in-the-machine.In Dilemmas (1954) Ryle analyzes propositions that appear irreconcilable, as when free will is set in opposition to the fatalistic view that future specific events are inevitable. He believed that the dilemmas posed by these seemingly contradictory propositions could be resolved only by viewing them as the result of conceptual confusion between the language of logic and the language of events.Among his other well-known books are Philosophical Arguments (1945), A Rational Animal (1962), Plato's Progress (1966), and The Thinking of Thoughts (1968).
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