Remembering takes many distinctive forms. Philosophers have primarily discussed the form of memory in which I remember episodes and experiences in my own past. Such ‘personal’ (or ‘experiential’ or ‘episodic’) memories seem to represent the past events to which they refer, and to depend on certain kinds of causal connections between past and present. In ‘factual’ or ‘semantic’ memory, in contrast, I need not have personally experienced what I now remember. ‘Declarative’ memory of both these forms aims at truth, but can go wrong in minor or dramatic ways. We also remember both to do certain things (‘prospective’ memory), and how to do certain things (‘procedural’ memory). Philosophers discuss the nature, functions, and mechanisms of memory; its relations to perception, imagination, dreams, emotions, and knowledge; and its connections with personal identity, responsibility, and our moral and social lives. Memory is an active topic of interdisciplinary research between philosophy, cognitive science, and the social sciences.
|Key works||Theories of memory in the premodern history of philosophy are discussed by Draaisma 2000, Krell 1990, and Sutton 1998. Rich and wide-ranging theoretical treatments include Campbell 2003, Hacking 1995, and Middleton & Brown 2005. The causal theory of memory is developed in Martin & Deutscher 1966, while important work on personal or autobiographical memory includes Campbell 1997, Hoerl 1999, and Goldie 2012. Casey 1987 offers a phenomenological treatment of memory, while Stern 1991 develops a Wittgensteinian approach. Sheets-Johnstone 2003 discusses kinesthetic or bodily memory. Ideas about social aspects of memory are developed by Wegner et al 1985.|
|Introductions||Warnock 1987 is a fine, wide-ranging first read on the philosophy of memory, while Engel 1999 and Schacter 1996 offer provocative introductions to the psychology of memory. Sutton 2009 surveys a range of ideas about situated and social memory, while Boyer & Wertsch 2009 is a good collection of interdisciplinary essays.|
- Temporal Experience (329 | 115)
- Externalism and Self-Knowledge (341 | 73)
- Psychological Theories of Personal Identity (153)
- Time and Consciousness in Psychology (101)
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Theories of Memory
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