« The machine in the ghost


The location of human consciousness has been a thorny philosophical problem ever since René Descartes made a bad guess that it could be found in the pineal gland. Not that he would have been embarrassed by its failure to show up under an electron microscope: it was in any case a spiritual organ. This incorporeality of the soul was satirized by the English philosopher Gilbert Ryle as "the ghost in the machine" – a very palpable hit, especially as Descartes did indeed view all other animals as automatons. But while Ryle's attack thoroughly discredited Cartesian dualism, it did not otherwise illuminate "the mind-body problem." 

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About Stephen Kennamer

For several years I have taught a course titled The Anthropology of Evil. I chose the term “anthropology,” not to indicate a restriction to the study of evil among primitive tribes, but rather to widen the lens to take in every relevant discipline: history, philosophy, theology, psychology, sociology, and current events.

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