Mental Acts: Their Content and Their Objects  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Mental Acts: Their Content and Their Objects (1957) is a text by Peter Geach.

Criticism of Ryle:

I shall not criticize Ryle's attempted analyses in detail; the entire programme seems to me misconceived. In the first place, he makes no serious attempt to carry out his programme consistently; he leaves some reports of mental acts standing, without offering any analysis of them into hypothetical or semi-hypothetical statements about behaviour. The mental acts in question are indeed referred to throughout in a highly depreciatory style, as "itches", "tingles", "tweaks", "agitations", etc.; but this rhetorical trick proves nothing. If reports of these mental acts cannot be reduced to hypothetical or semi-hypothetical statements about overt behaviour, then the view that the distinction between categoricals and hypotheticals is the logical distinction between physical and psychological statements must be completely wrong. A logical principle allows of no exceptions not even if the exceptions are events that only James Joyce would put into a novel.

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