Talk:Ghost in the machine

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"The Official Doctrine"[edit]

What is this doctrine? The article doesn't say who's doctrine this is, or even what it's about. As written, this article seems to imply that there is only one official doctrine in the universe of all doctrines that can exist for all topics. This simply isn't true given that there are multiple groups and multiple topics, each of which could have their own "official doctrine."

Also, what is this quote from? The whole article needs to be rewritten. (talk) 03:03, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

[NOTE: a lot of these words are direct quotations from Gilbert Ryle's Ghost in the Machine, and few are ideas take from other people - either anonymus or not] Should these things then be moved to Wikiquote instead?

This page describes Ryle's criticisms of 'Ghost in the Machine', but it does not actually describe the theory he is criticizing. WhiteC 02:28, 9 August 2005 (UTC)
The anonymous original contributor confused the issue by thinking that Ryle wrote the book The Ghost in the Machine, when he instead originated the phrase (which itself refers to Descarte's theory). It was Arthur Koestler who wrote the book of that title which discusses Ryle's concept. It is not clear to me that the material that the editor entered consisted of direct quotations. If they had been, he should have known who wrote the book. There is already quite a bit of material in Wikipedia on Decartes' mind-body problem, so it should not have to be detailed here, just linked. I think for now Ryle's concept should have its own page. But we may end up wanting to merge this article with The Ghost in the Machine which is about Koestler's book, as long as Ryle and Koestler are clearly distinguished. --Blainster 10:09, 9 August 2005 (UTC)
There was a recent article in the New York Times on parasites ability to direct the behavior of hosts [1] that led me to this article. I agree with WhiteC. Before we get critical about the theory, it might be nice to define it and discuss what the theory is attempting to explain in the natural world. (So whatever it is, I'm against it...) patsw 02:21, 7 September 2005 (UTC)
Splitting this article up and merging any relevant bits of it into the article for Koestler's book seems sensible. Right now, the pages for category mistake and The Concept of Mind have a lot of overlap with this. JordanDeLong 03:17, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

IMO this "article" is so confused and poorly formatted that it should be deleted. -- Panicum (talk) 22:29, 13 May 2012 (UTC)


This article seems to be rather heavily biased against Descartes. It presents the book's criticisms with finality, and conveys the impression that the philosophical community has embraced them and forgotten all about the mind/body problem. I will refrain from attempting any edits since I know virtually nothing about philosophy.

I would point out this is an article about a critique and in being as such it critical of the paper being critiqued —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:28, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Bias against Descartes isn't necessarily NPOV, just as bias against geocentrism or the theory of bodily "humors" would be -- some old views have been abandoned. Cartesian dualism certainly has few adherents among analytical philosophers due to the seemingly insurmountable interaction problem. Still this article may go too far; it certainly has many problems. -- (talk) 07:27, 16 April 2010 (UTC)


shouldn't there be some mention of terms use with regards to AI and software development?

No. No one in the AI research community really take those ideas seriously. "Ghosts in The Machine" tend to be just a literary allusion, that are only very tenuously connected to the original philosophical idea. (talk) 02:59, 9 March 2008 (UTC)


Much of the content in this article appears to duplicate text attributed to Henrique de Morais Ribeiro of the Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Brazil, on this page:

I have no idea who copied what from whom, but considerable copying is going on. (talk) 22:45, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

I just read the original article. It seems that there are a significant number of phrases and even complete sentences lifted from the original (and of course, I mean they are not in quotation marks or cited). (talk) 06:05, 9 October 2008 (UTC)CLH

Apparently this is a paper from "The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy" (1998). This should be added as a reference, which I just did. As a bonus, I think this probably cleans up the "citation needed" queries, and allow us to retire the "original research" query, since we now have cited the research. Geoffrey.landis (talk) 03:12, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Needs to be shortened![edit]

There already is an article on the book The Concept of Mind; this article should be focussed on the "ghost in the machine" concept, and not be a repeat of that article. My suggestion is to delete all the material starting with the "Category mistakes" subheading up to "Popular culture: (or, better, rather than deleting this, move them to the The Concept of Mind article unless they duplicate material is already there.)

On the other hand, it would be useful to add some text discussing how the phrase and concept developed after 1949. Koestler, for example, used the phrase in a somewhat different meaning; it would be nice to add some material on this and other developments of the concept. Geoffrey.landis (talk) 02:10, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Deleted the "This Article Has Issues" heading[edit]

I think that I've cleaned up the two issues noted in the head, so I removed the flag. Admittedly, some of that was done by moving the problematical text to a different article, but as for this article, I think that it now has the required citations, and has cited the purportedly original research.

A lot of the text that was flagged as possibly being original research was in fact direct (but unattributed) quotes from Ryle; I think I've got this cited better by putting these in block quotes. Others were unreferenced borrowings from Ribeiro article, which is now referenced. Geoffrey.landis (talk) 03:18, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Popular culture Addition[edit]

Season 1, Episode 3 of the TV series "Humans" (with the letter "a" inverted) has a scene where the book "Ghost in the Machine" is featured.Jonny Quick (talk) 05:02, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia has a well-established, usable system for navigating between similarly named subjects. It's disambiguation pages. There is a disambiguation link at the top of the page. There is no reason to duplicate the information in an IPC section. Furthermore, anyone who adds an item to an IPC section should be able to say more than "X is mentioned in Y" which indicates a complete lack of effort to establish significance. (talk) 01:28, 16 May 2016 (UTC)