First published in 1949, Gilbert Ryle’s The Concept of Mind is one of the classics of twentieth-century philosophy. Described by Ryle as a ’sustained piece of analytical hatchet-work’ on Cartesian dualism, The Concept of Mind is a radical and controversial attempt to jettison once and for all what Ryle called ’the ghost in the machine’ Descartes’ argument that mind and body are two separate entities. This sixtieth anniversary edition includes a substantial commentary by Julia Tanney and is essential reading for new readers interested not only in the history of analytic philosophy but in its power to challenge major currents in philosophy of mind and language today.
Gilbert Ryle was born in England in 1900, one of ten children. In 1924 he was appointed to a lectureship at Christ Church College, Oxford where he was to remain for his entire academic career until his retirement in 1968. In 1945 he was elected to the Waynflete Chair of Metaphysical Philosophy. He was editor of the journal Mind from 1947 to 1971. He died on 6 October 1976 at Whitby in Yorkshire after a day’s walking on the moors.