Gilbert Ryle's The Concept of Mind

Unit 3 Question

Project description
Read the passage from Gilbert Ryle’s The Concept of Mind and consider whether the human mind is separate from the body, in connection with the Unit 3 readings. Refer to the Unit 3 Question document for the passage and a description of the assignment. This document also provides links to resources that will help you complete this assignment, including Suggestions for Answering Assigned Questions and a selection of links to online resources that will help you use critical reasoning to analyze written arguments.

Unit 3 Question

Gilbert Ryle (1949), wrote in The Concept of Mind:

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. . . .The official doctrine, which hails chiefly from Descartes, is something like this. With the doubtful exception of idiots and infants in arms every human being has both a body and a mind. Some would prefer to say that every human being is both a body and a mind. His body and his mind are ordinarily harnessed together, but after the death of the body his mind may continue to exist and function. Human bodies are in space and subject to mechanical laws which govern all other bodies in space. . . .But minds are not in space, nor are their operations subject to mechanical laws. . . .Such in outline is the official theory. I shall often speak of it, with deliberate abusiveness, as “the dogma of the Ghost in the Machine.”

As indicated at the end of the quotation, Ryle was not an advocate of the view he labeled “Ghost in the Machine.” Selecting any three of the authors of the Unit 3 readings, would they agree or disagree with the “official doctrine” (Ghost in the Machine)? Why? Based on the Unit 3 readings, what is your opinion about the doctrine? Why?

Indications of Mastery

Your written assignment should:
1.Clearly identify and describe the views of three authors from the Unit 3 readings concerning the official doctrine (Ghost in the Machine).
2.Make use of and reference to the appropriate readings in the text.
3.Use critical reasoning to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the views and arguments of the selected authors concerning the official doctrine (Ghost in the machine).
4.Clearly express your opinion and explain why you hold this opinion, based on the analyses captured in the previous indications of mastery.

Time estimate: 3 hours.

The Suggestions for Answering Assigned Questions expand upon these Indications of Mastery and will help you produce an assignment that meets these criteria. Your instructor will return your graded assignment with comments concerning how well your assignment met the criteria stated in the Unit 3 Question Scoring Guide.

This is the text book we are using: Textbook

Read Chapter 4 in Being Human: Core Readings in the Humanities. This is part of the question the authors in chapter 4 readings is from the book “Being Human”

Kass, L. (Ed.). (2004). Being human: Core readings in the humanities. New York: W. W. Norton & Co. ISBN: 0393926397.

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