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Wisdom, J.O. (1951). The Concept of Mind: By Gilbert Ryle. (London: Hutchinson's University Library, 1949. Pp. 334. 12 s. 6 d.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 32:62-67.

(1951). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 32:62-67

The Concept of Mind: By Gilbert Ryle. (London: Hutchinson's University Library, 1949. Pp. 334. 12 s. 6 d.)

Review by:
J. O. Wisdom

The Emotions: Outline of a Theory. By Jean-Paul Sartre. (New York: Philosophical Library, 1948. Pp. 97. $2.75.)

Professor Ryle's The Concept of Mind is a book of major importance. It is written by a philosopher for philosophers, but its importance should extend outside the field of academic reflection. It is finely written and makes use, I think, of only one technical term ('category'). Nevertheless, it has to be given close reading, and the point of the book may easily escape a reader who has little knowledge of contemporary philosophy. It requires and merits reading twice. Although it is in general reprehensible to recommend anyone to omit reading certain parts of an important work, an exception should be made here; better that specialists, whose time for reading outside their main field is limited, should read some of this book than none. Psycho-analysts may find themselves rewarded by reading carefully Chapters I, IV and VI more than by a hasty reading of the whole (if this review were appearing in a journal of general psychology I would suggest Chapters I, III and IX as a minimum). An understanding of later chapters does not presuppose a knowledge of earlier ones; the mode of attack on a problem is one of the most important features of the book, and this is constant throughout; also the chief conclusion appears in every chapter, worked through in different material. A summary of the book would be about as lifeless as a summary of a case-history.

Large numbers of philosophers of England, Austria, and the United States have been developing logical analysis and logical positivism for more than a quarter of a century.

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