Welcome back to know thyself on the value and limits of self-knowledge. This is our third class which focuses on classical western philosophical approaches to self-knowledge. Today, I want to talk about Gilbert Ryle's recasting of the mind-body problem. So, just reviewing where we've gone so far, what we've accomplished so far, we've talked about the Socratic approach to self-knowledge. According to that approach, we live an examined life by engaging in frequent dialogue about the most central issues: justice, piety, virtue, knowledge, et cetera. It's hoped that this will yield some kind of wisdom and not just knowledge of many facts. Remember, knowing things and being wise seem to be very different kinds of achievements. By contrast, a Cartesian approach to self-knowledge is going to be part of a system for developing a new and rigorous science. We emphasize knowledge of our mental states as a first step toward true scientia, the Latin for rigorous science. Wisdom has no special place here in Descartes' discussion at least of the parts of Descartes that we've looked at. Though Descartes does emphasize the importance of using one's mind carefully and avoiding obscuring confused ideas as we reach our conclusions. So, clear and distinct perception puts a heavy weight on the idea of being careful and not falling into the temptations that our mind is prone to such as, for example, ascribing what we now know to be secondary qualities to objects outside of our minds, thinking just in terms of primary qualities. Both philosophers; Socrates and Descartes emphasize their own limitations and exhort others to be mindful of their own. Both put forward propositional knowledge as the sort of gold standard of intellectual achievement, and as we recall from Socrates' discussion of his interaction with the craftsmen when he tried to figure out whether anybody was wiser than he, he ended up not taking their knowledge-how, their abilities as being especially important in understanding the degree of their wisdom. Both Socrates and Descartes see the mind as distinct from the body which tends, according to them, to distract and corrupt thought as opposed to supporting it or enhancing it or making it more sophisticated. We're going to be moving gradually towards contemporary thinkers that want to challenge many of those assumptions, put in place different ways of understanding knowledge including self-knowledge. One of those, who is very important to the development of contemporary philosophy in the western English-speaking tradition, is Gilbert Ryle, and I want to talk today primarily about his book known as The Concept of Mind. Ryle's dates from 1900-1976. He was a philosopher of ordinary language, and that means that he wanted to start out with common sense as, if not the last word, then at least the first word in understanding how best to make sense of concepts such as mind, freedom, understanding, thought, action, agency, and many other notions that are connected up with philosophical chestnuts that go back thousands of years, and his view alongside the views of other well-known ordinary language philosophers such as J. L. Austin and Ludwig Wittgenstein was one according to which so many traditional philosophical problems are in many ways generated and expanded largely because of a misunderstanding of the language that we speak. Our intelligence has been bewitched by language, according to these philosophers, and if we can understand how language works, how we use everyday notions connected up with the words that make up our language, then we can get a better fix on these concepts in such a way as to see not so much solutions to these true traditional problems, but more like dissolutions of them. To show that many of these problems are tempests in a teapot that depend for their very existence on misunderstandings and misconstruals of the language that we speak. So, Ryle, in the process also gives us, I think, a useful definition of philosophy which he describes as the replacement of intellectual habit with intellectual discipline. In philosophy, we often start out. We come to the table with lots of assumptions and lots of habits of thought that support those assumptions about the nature of the relationship between the mind and the body, freedom of will, knowledge, truth, et cetera, and our job is to stand back from many of those assumptions, scrutinize them, think about whether those assumptions are all mandatory, and what other points of view about those problems we might have, and in the process turn our opinions into things that we can possibly justify, support, be clear about, and thereby be more intellectually disciplined. Being intellectually disciplined does not mean being intellectually rigorous. It's more like a kind of mental suppleness where you might know what you think, you can give reasons for what you think, but you can also see around your own point of view to the point that you'll be able to understand somebody else's opposed position, and perhaps make sense of them. In addition to giving us a useful definition of philosophy, Ryle is often classed as one of the leading behaviorists of the middle part of the 20th century. Well, I don't think that that's untrue. I believe that that is misleading for the following reason. Ryle does, as we'll see in a moment, put a great emphasis on the nature of behavior. However, he's very different from the behaviorists that are associated with behaviorists in psychology for the following reasons. People like Watson and then after him, Skinner, many other prominent behaviorists in the field of psychology thought that the only way in which to make psychology a rigorous field was to give up talk of mental states because according to them, mental states are not rigorously scientifically measurable and capable of rigorous scrutiny. Give up talk of mental states, talk instead just of inputs into the organism and the organisms' output in terms of its behavior. That's the way and the only way in which we're going to be able to get a rigorous scientific theory of the mind, according to these psychologists. So, the idea of talk of mental states, minds, beliefs, other types of mental states and so on is going to be not scientifically legitimate for these psychologists. Whereas for Ryle, talk of the mind, talk of the mental states of which it is composed is perfectly legitimate as long as you understand what those things mean, talk of minds is perfectly okay. That's partly because Ryles' not trying to put a theory of mind on a scientific foundation. Rather, according to Ryle, we have as much knowledge as we need to have about the nature of mind. There's nothing hidden there that's beyond the veil that we could pull back by doing some rigorous scientific investigation. Rather just by virtue of having access to common sense in our everyday understanding of ourselves and one another's minds. We know all that we need to know about the mind. In the process of arguing for this position, Ryle, I believe, was perhaps the first philosopher to systematically and carefully provide a reasoned challenge to Descartes' argument for dualism. As emphasized in our last lecture, Descartes' argument for dualism yields this surprising conclusion that the mind is different, distinct from anything in the physical world including even the central nervous system. While many materialists such as Thomas Hobbes and 18th century philosopher known as La Mettrie, many materialists argued, or more precisely, asserted their materialist position, they didn't explain what went wrong with Descartes' argument that leads us to his dualist conclusion. So, in order to earn our right to the rejection of Descartes' dualistic position, we should try to figure out where his argument goes wrong. Precisely, why it's not cogent rather than just asserting the contradictory of its conclusion. One important theme in Ryle is going to be the idea that practical knowledge or knowledge-how is no less important than propositional knowledge. He writes summing up some of his overall view the following: "The philosophical arguments which constitute this book, The Concept of Mind, are intended not to increase what we know about minds, but to rectify the logical geography of the knowledge that we already possess."