David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
International Journal of Applied Philosophy 13 (2):193-208 (1999)
The belief that memory is essential to the self is common. Extreme amnesia, e.g., Korsakoff Syndrome, is held to dissolve the afflicted person’s self. This belief is a misconception that rests on a confusion of epistemic with ontological relevance. Epistemically, memory is relevant to the self: a subject’s self-knowledge partly depends on memories of past experiences. However, it is not by virtue of these memories that the subject is a self: ontologically, memory is irrelevant to that status. The fact that an individuals conception of herself as existing through time is wanting does not prevent that individual from being a self at a given point in time. As the past is there whether or not it is remembered, so the self is there whether or not it remembers. If instead we define the self as awareness of being a subject of experience, the self may survive even the most extreme forms of amnesia. Being a self is an important social value, a prerequisite of numerous legal or moral rights. This in itself is questionable, like the social exclusion it may entail. Denying an amnesic person a self is therefore more than a logical mistake: it is a social exclusion that can also be questioned on ethical grounds
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Dorothea Debus (2008). Experiencing the Past: A Relational Account of Recollective Memory. Dialectica 62 (4):405-432.
Dorothea Debus (2007). Perspectives on the Past: A Study of the Spatial Perspectival Characteristics of Recollective Memories. Mind and Language 22 (2):173-206.
Christoph Hoerl (1999). Memory, Amnesia, and the Past. Mind and Language 14 (2):227-51.
Jeffrey Prager (1998). Presenting the Past: Psychoanalysis and the Sociology of Misremembering. Harvard University Press.
William P. Banks (1996). Korsakoff and Amnesia. Consciousness and Cognition 5 (1-2):22-26.
Stan Klein & Shaun Nichols (2012). Memory and the Sense of Personal Identity. Mind 121 (483):677-702.
Ross E. Cheit (1998). Consider This, Skeptics of Recovered Memory. Ethics and Behavior 8 (2):141 – 160.
Jordi Fernandez (2008). Memory and Time. Philosophical Studies 141 (3):333 - 356.
Charles Scott (1999). Memory of Time in the Light of Flesh. Continental Philosophy Review 32 (4):421-432.
S. S. Korsakoff (1996). Medico-Psychological Study of a Memory Disorder. Consciousness and Cognition 5 (1-2):2-21.
Timothy Schroeder (2005). Moral Responsibility and Tourette Syndrome. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (1):106–123.
James Giles (2012). Adult Baby Syndrome and Age Identity Disorder: Comment on Kise and Nguyen (2011). Archives of Sexual Behavior 41 (2):321-322.
J. Campbell (1997). The Structure of Time in Autobiographical Memory. European Journal of Philosophy 5 (2):105-17.
R. Joseph (2003). Emotional Trauma and Childhood Amnesia. Consciousness and Emotion 4 (2):151-179.
Added to index2011-01-09
Total downloads5 ( #226,513 of 1,101,088 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #81,399 of 1,101,088 )
How can I increase my downloads?