1. Interaction: How?
- Descartes has removed the mind from the physical world.
- He is at a loss to explain the alleged interaction.
2. Setting aside #1, some say that Descartes‟ dualism is explanatorily
- Vitalism in biology.
At one time, people explained the difference between living and
dead things as a difference in the presence of absence of the élan vital
– sort of vital force.
This notion is no longer respectable in modern biology.
Some ridicule appeal to an élan vital by saying that explaining
how a locomotive moves by appeal to the locomotive force would be
just as useless.
Explaining human behaviour and mentality by appeal to an
immaterial mind is no explanation at all – explanatorily bankrupt.
3. Descartes‟ view leads to solipsism about other human minds.
- All we can see is behaviour.
- There is no way to check the conclusion of the Argument from
4. Descartes‟ view entails solipsism about the minds of other animals.
- Descartes‟ thought that because animals such as cats lacked a soul,
they lacked any mental states.
- If a cat meows when you step on its tail, this is the result of
mechanical motion. = Mechanically and not because cats have
- Ryle‟s view is „Philosophy or logical Behaviourism‟.
- We should understand ascriptions of mental states as ascriptions of
behaviour or dispositions to behave.
- Statements about mental phenomena could be, in principle,
completely translated into statements about behaviour and
dispositions to behave.
- All competent English speakers know how to use the term, ex, pain,
so it much refer to something publicly observable. Therefore, pain
must be observable.
- There is no worry about solipsism, as mental ascriptions do not refer
to anything occult – (hidden).
- Why is the official doctrine so popular?
- Ryle‟s diagnosis: Dualists have made a category mistake – Cartesian
error. University example: Someone comes to visit. You tour them.
Yet, they say…I want to see the