Gilbert Ryle


 (1900 –1976)

. British Philosopher

. Known for his critique of Cartesian dualism (assumption of that the mind and body aren’t identical)

. Influenced by Descartes, Schopenhauer and Wittgenstein

. Ludwig Wittgenstein, who thought many philosophical problems were caused by misuse of language – Ryle believed it was no longer possible for a philosopher to believe that it was his task to study mental objects opposed to physical objects. Ryle saw the tendency of philosophers to search for objects whose nature was neither physical nor mental

. Described both body and mind as a ‘field of causes and effects’ and likened the motion of the planets to a ‘clockwork’ he thought minds were ‘not bits of clockwork, they are bits of non-clockwork’

. For Ryle free will was invented to answer the question whether human beings deserve praise or blame. He interlinks free will with moral responsibility assuming with Kant that our actions must be moral to be free.


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