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The_Semantics_of_Ryle (Jason Wakefield, University of Cambridge)

The_Semantics_of_Ryle (Jason Wakefield, University of Cambridge)

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Published by Jason Wakefield
Talk at University of Oxford, January 2013.
Talk at University of Oxford, January 2013.

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Published by: Jason Wakefield on Aug 03, 2013
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06/16/2014

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 1
The Semantics of Ryle’s
The Concept of Mind 
Jason Wakefield,University of Cambridge.During the Hilary term of January 2013, the Ockham Society invited me to speak to them in the RyleRoom, Radcliffe Humanities Building, University of Oxford
 –
in a 20:20 format.
As ‘T
he PragmaticMethodology of Modal Logic
chapter of my book
The Question of Non-Being? A PragmaticMethodology of Casino
 
Contingency 
(2013) lasts for 40 minutes, it was too long to be read out loudto the Ockham Society. Discussions of my work (especially that on semantics supervised at theUniversity of Cambridge) has led to logicians currently supervising Professorial candidates at theUniversity of Oxford to gently demand that more minutes be allocated for the Fellows to hear mespeak; for example, in a series of John Locke Lectures.
Ryle’
s
The Concept of Mind 
 
(1949) has found stark opposition in Mellor’s ‘How To Believe aConditional’ , Journ
al of Philosophy 90 (1993: 233
 –
48); thus my reception recently at the University
of Oxford from the University of Cambridge has been one of sensitive caution. Mellor’s currentfocus is on Ryle’s view that ‘dispositional statements are neither reports of 
observed or observable
states of affairs’ (1949: 125). As an objection to his causal functionalism as a method to show how
the contents of contingent beliefs are given by the conditions in which the actions they make desiresfulfil desires. Thus this is a very short, succinct, lucid transcript of a talk about semantics, intended toread to Oxbridge clubs who favour clarity and precision.To clarify
 ,
my book
The Question of Non-Being? A Pragmatic Methodology of Casino Contingency 
(2013) is a strictly
focused analysis of only ten words extracted from Shakespeare’s
Hamlet 
. Thisanalysis of these ten words (or single sentence) only, stretches to a sustained 80, 000 word thesis;which guaranteed its automatic conversion in to a single
 –
authored monograph for publication. Thepsycho
analytical dimension of my book’s ontology can be found in Ryle’s (1949) project of describingmental states by identifying them with dispositions and from his ‘inference
-
ticket’ view of laws of 
nature. Mellor objects to this semantics and ontology of dispositions by Ryle because of thedifferences in
some
 
 factual 
respects. As a pragmatist, my intervention is similar to the Davidsoniancausal criterion of 
actual 
identity, not of 
counter-factual 
identity, which has sympathy for both Ryle,as well as,
Mellor’s rejection of Ryle. Mellor clearly damages Ryle’s
The Concept of Mind 
in terms of 
‘reduction sentences’ where factual predicates can be stated by conditionals, however Mellor could
have strengthened his attack further with Qu
ine’s
Word and Object 
(1960) instead of his predictable
synthesis of Kripke’s
Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language
(1982) with
Counterfactuals
(1973)by Lewis.As a pragmatic methodologist, Mellor perhaps should join my pragmatic methodology of analysing
Ryle’s functional orientation –
where we focus on the Deleuzian differences in content by clarifying
the multiplicity of Deleuze’s rhizome with a singular logico –
syntactic device of existentialquantification.

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