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Ryle, Gilbert (1900–76)

graham bird


Subject Philosophy » Epistemology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631192589.1993.x


Extract

British philosopher, who spent most of his working life at Oxford. Ryle rejected many of the ideas and issues of traditional epistemology. Just as his work in the philosophy of mind rejected the whole traditional framework of Cartesian dualism, so his detailed accounts of knowledge, belief and perception sought to move beyond that tradition. Like many analytic philosophers during the 1950s and 1960s Ryle took the central role of philosophy to be that of ‘conceptual geography’. In such early papers as ‘Systematically Misleading Expressions’ and ‘Categories’ he constructed a framework for philosophy which was later the foundation for his pioneering work The Concept of Mind. He claimed that philosophical clarification has to do with the categorization of concepts, and is carried out for the sake of philosophers only and not for the benefit of the ordinary users of those concepts. In ‘Categories’ he expresses a preference for the idea that philosophy has to do with the formulation of type liaisons, or type disciplines, rather than with the usual analysis associated with formal logic. Though he recognized a link between his category disciplines and Russell's theory of types. Ryle insisted in the final chapter of Dilemmas that his own methods belonged to ‘informal’ rather than to formal logic. In those early papers the central thought is that the grammatical form of some expression ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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