Ghost in the machine

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Thinking hard
or hardly thinking?

Icon philosophy.svg
Major trains of thought
The good, the bad
and the brain fart
Come to think of it

The ghost in the machine is a sarcastic description coined by British philosopher Gilbert Ryle, referring to René Descartes' ideas about mind-body dualism. He introduced the phrase in his 1949 book The Concept of Mind, in order to demonstrate the silliness of Descartes' dualist system which hypothesized that mental activity is carried on separately and without any obvious connection to physical activity.

The phrase was used by Arthur Koestler for one of his book titles.

See also[edit]