Ryle argues that the traditional approach to the relation of mind and body i. Firstly, Descartes sees the mind as an immaterial, non-physical soul. He believes that his thoughts can be altered but he can never be tricked into the thinking that he is thinking when he is not. Ryle describes the separation of the mind and body as the mind existing apart from the physical world and the body existing in the world. He writes that the two entities, the mind and body, combine to create a person.
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April 23, 1. The Official Doctine Every human being has both a body and a mind. The body and mind are united. After the death of the body, the mind may continue to exist. They are observable. Minds are not in space. They are not observable, witness-able, or bound by the same laws. Man lives through two histories: 1. He has direct and unchallengeable cognizance of episodes that occur in : consciousness, self-consciousness, introspection.
He can have uncertainties about concurrent or adjacent episodes in the physical world but has none in at least part of momentary episodes in his mind.
Problem with the issue of stimuli occurring far away and causing mental responses, and also with mental decisions causing the body to move. Mental happenings are insulated in fields called minds; they can not directly affect each other; material objects have to be used to affect another mind; no causal connection.
Capable of introspection, self-observation, which is truthful. Only our bodies can meet. Only the self has authority over whether the terms were applied correctly. Posits that we can not use them effectively to describe or make prescriptions for other minds. The Absurdity of the Official Doctrine Unfinished.
Gilbert Ryle, "Descartes's Myth"
April 23, 1. The Official Doctine Every human being has both a body and a mind. The body and mind are united. After the death of the body, the mind may continue to exist. They are observable. Minds are not in space.
Descartes Myth-Gilbert Ryle
These expressions do not indicate two different species of existence. They simply indicate two different sense of what existence means. Existence is not a singular generic term. Hence for instance, minds are things, but they are different things from bodies. Mental processes are causes and effects but they are different causes and effects from bodies. It began from the posing of the question of how minds can influence and be influenced by bodies?
Ryle: Descartes’s Myth
THERE is a doctrine about the nature and place of minds which is so prevalent among theorists and even among laymen that it deserves to be described as the official theory. Most philosophers, psychologists and religious teachers subscribe, with minor reservations, to its main articles and, although they admit certain theoretical difficulties in it, they tend to assume that these can be overcome without serious modifications being made to the architecture of the theory. It will be argued here that the central principles of the doctrine are unsound and conflict with the whole body of what we know about minds when we are not speculating about them. The official doctrine, which hails chiefly from Descartes, is something like this.