Sunday, November 14, 2010

Theory of Mind

Category mistake can involve thinking about the mind as either the brain, which is absurd because brains have mass and volume but thoughts have neither, or as some kind of immaterial entity, a ghost in the biological machine which is our bodies.

Gilbert Ryle explains how to avoid this problem by understanding the mind not as a single object. Instead it is something which wants, desires, understands, thinks, and so on. It is the totality of all these things which procudes what we call a mind. This is similar to our understanding of a university as the totality of its colleges, libraries, museums, and gardens, for example.

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