Saturday, 30 April 2011


Ryle had similar views to Dawkins, sharing his view that we are essentially physical beings and that there was no chance of an afterlife. Ryle is best known for his phrase ‘ghost in the machine’, which he coined to explain his idea that the soul or any argument that we were mental beings was false. He argued that the idea of the soul was a ‘category mistake’ that people made when they spoke of the mind or the soul. He claimed that when individuals speak of the mind and body as a different phenomenon they are making a linguistic error and that the idea of the human mind was as unreal as the thought of a ghost driving a machine. To Ryle, we are only physical beings, and any contrasting views to this derived from a fault in our language. Ryle believes that there is no chance of life after death, and that nothing of us is left behind when our bodies decay.


Ryle who is also a monist says similarly to Dawkins that we are just body. He says that the mind is a daft way of talking about the body. He also says things such as soul, self and consciousness is a daft way of talking about the body. This therefore means that the mind cannot exist separately from the body as we are only body.

Some more reading on Ryle here

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