Gilbert Ryle exerted an influence over academic philosophers in the English-speaking world almost without equal at midcentury. As Waynefleet Professor of Philosophy at Oxford University and as G. E. Moore's successor to the editorship of Mind, the most prestigious philosophical journal in Great Britain, Ryle shaped the orientation of philosophical discussion for more than a decade. Independently of Ludwig Wittgenstein, he invented a philosophical method of linguistic analysis, maintaining indeed that systematic confusions in theory stemmed from misleading grammatical expressions. Ryle's most remarkable contribution to philosophy, however, was in the area of philosophy of mind. His crowning achievement was The Concept of Mind (1949). Utilizing his method of linguistic analysis on a discourse about mind and the mental, he maintained that the radical distinction between mind and body, Cartesian dualism, stemmed from category mistakes. A felicitous writer with a distinctively colloquial style free of jargon, Ryle invented phrases---such as "the ghost in the machine" to indicate supposed Cartesian mental substance---that still reverberate in the literature of philosophy and psychology.
Matthew M. Hurley is currently researching teleology and agency at the Center for Research onConcepts and Cognition at Indiana University.Daniel C. Dennett is University Professor and Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy atTufts University. He is the author of Sweet Dreams: Philosophical Obstacles to a Scienceof Consciousness (MIT Press) and other books.