the ghost in the machine


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ghost in the machine

1. Human consciousness and thought as an entity distinct and separate from the body. Of course, our mental state is so inextricably linked to our physical state that it is at best purely speculative to think of the mind as some sort of ghost in the machine.
2. By extension, virtual consciousness resulting from artificial intelligence inside of a computer system. The novel, set in the very distant future, imagines a world where the line between human and artificial consciousness is blurred, leading many to wonder who is truly human, and who is simply a ghost in the machine.
See also: ghost, machine

the ghost in the machine

the mind viewed as distinct from the body.
This phrase was coined by the British philosopher Gilbert Ryle in The Concept of Mind ( 1949 ) for a viewpoint that he considered completely misleading.
See also: ghost, machine
References in periodicals archive ?
(Doherty's appendix credits the music to Jerry Simon.) Eleanor Updale's 'The Ghost in the Machine' gives us a boy condemned to return to the land of the living--or rather the cyberspace of his enemy's computer.
Arthur Koestler (1905-83) wrote out the possibility of psychokinesis in his 1967 book The Ghost in the Machine. He and his wife left nearly 1 million [pounds sterling] in bequests to endow a chair in parapsychology at the University of Edinburgh.
reason: You talk about three modern "myths" in the book: the blank slate, the noble savage, and the ghost in the machine. Explain them briefly.
The doctrine of the ghost in the machine is that people are inhabited by an immaterial soul that is the locus of free will and choice and which can't be reduced to a function of the brain.
reason: Why is the ghost in the machine doctrine a myth?
A modern British philosopher, Gilbert Ryle, has called the soul "the ghost in the machine." That oft quoted phrase means, according to the philosopher, that no matter how closely one inspects a person, there is only flesh and blood.