Philosophy



Courses of Action or the Uncatchableness of Mental Acts


Gilbert Ryle 

Abstract

We falter and stammer when trying to describe our own mental acts. Many mental acts, including thinking, are what the author calls ‘chain-undertakings’, that is, courses of action with some over-arching purpose governing the moment-by-moment sub-acts of which we are introspectively aware. Hence the intermittency and sporadicness of the passage of mental activity which constitutes thinking about something.