A Critique of Gilbert Ryle's "The Concept of Mind"
Bouwens, Don M.
MetadataShow full item record
An attempt to produce an argumentative thesis is at the undergraduate level indeed a bold adventure. The author is certain that the failures in his attempt outweigh the successes. The successes however, are most gratifying. The precision necessary in philosophical argument humble the author, but it also sharpened it. The knowledge of Professor Ryle's The Concept of Mind gained by a criticism of it was extraordinary. There 1s no better way to fully understand theory than to try to attack it. The author also discovered that the complexity of any serious philosophical theory is unimaginably immense. To most readers this the is theory will seem unjustifiably unfair to Professor Ryle. They will and ought to be skeptical of a critique which describes nothing about its subject in favorable terms. The author wishes to emphasize that this defect derives solely from his temporal limitations. Nearly as much time could have been spent lauding the merits of Professor Ryle's analysis as was spent attacking it. Attack was chosen instead of praise because the purpose of the this was to gain experience in philosophical discourse. It is far easier to defend propositions, especially when they are as well developed as many of Ryle's are, than to refute them. The author wanted to try the rougher approach. The tone of the thesis, then, was chosen for purely egotistical reasons and not on the basis of any philosophical conviction.