The Ghost in the Machine

The Ghost in the Machine is a 1967 book about philosophical psychology by Arthur Koestler. The title is a phrase (see ghost in the machine) coined by the Oxford philosopher Gilbert Ryle to describe the Cartesian dualist account of the mind–body relationship. Koestler shares with Ryle the view that the mind of a person is not an independent non-material entity, temporarily inhabiting and governing the body. One of the book's central concepts is that as the human brain evolved, it retained and built upon earlier, more primitive brain structures. The work attempts to explain humanity's tendency towards self-destruction in terms of brain structure, philosophies, and its overarching, cyclical political–historical dynamics, reaching the height of its potential in the nuclear arms arena - wikipedia

# Criticism of the book's theories

Koestler's central assumption is that humanity's atavistic brain areas will lead it to self-destruction. However, the same areas responsible for hate and anger are also responsible for certain other emotions, such as love and happiness, which tend to be viewed more positively, although they can in themselves foster or lead to certain destructive urges on an individual level. Certain narcotics, for example, create what may be viewed as "positive emotions", despite their harmful long-term effects - wikipedia

However, Koestler was not a proponent of an emotionless humanity, in fact, he argued against it in ''The Sleepwalkers'', ''The Act of Creation'' (1964), and other works.

In ''Janus: A Summing Up'' (1978) Koestler continues the theories developed in ''The Ghost in the Machine'' and further elaborates on the concept of holarchy.