The metasemantics of memory

Philosophical Studies 153 (1):95-107 (2010)
Abstract
In Sven Bernecker’s excellent new book, Memory, he proposes an account of what we might call the metasemantics of memory: the conditions that determine the contents of the mental representations employed in memory. Bernecker endorses a pastist externalist view, according to which the content of a memory-constituting representation is fixed, in part, by the external conditions prevalent at the (past) time of the tokening of the original representation (the one from which the memory-constituting one is causally derived). Bernecker argues that the best version of a pastist externalism about memory contents will have the result that there can be semantically-induced memory losses in cases involving unwitting world-switching . The burden of this paper is to show that Bernecker’s argument for this conclusion does not succeed. My arguments on this score have implications for our picture of mind-world relations, as these are reflected in a subject’s attempts to recall her past thoughts.
Keywords Semantics  Metasemantics  Memory  Externalism  World-switching
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References found in this work BETA
Tyler Burge (1993). Content Preservation. Philosophical Review 102 (4):457-488.

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