Machine Age

September 29, 2012


Richard Hamilton, Man, Machine and Motion, 1955/2012, exhibition reconstruction. Installation view, New Museum, New York, 2012. Courtesy the artist and New Museum

by Melissa Gronlund
in Afterall

The phrase ‘ghosts in the machine’ was first used in 1949 by the Oxonian philosopher Gilbert Ryle to reject the dualist thinking of René Descartes: rather than mind and body being separate, Ryle argued, the bodily – what we might call today the hard-wiring of the brain – affects the mind, allowing baser, earlier emotions, such as fear or hatred, to persist despite our logical dismissal of them.1 These biological hangovers are the infamous ghosts in the machine of our brain. Read more …


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