David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Erkenntnis 74 (3):399-424 (2011)
The default view in the epistemology of forgetting is that human memory would be epistemically better if we were not so susceptible to forgetting—that forgetting is in general a cognitive vice. In this paper, I argue for the opposed view: normal human forgetting—the pattern of forgetting characteristic of cognitively normal adult human beings—approximates a virtue located at the mean between the opposed cognitive vices of forgetting too much and remembering too much. I argue, first, that, for any finite cognizer, a certain pattern of forgetting is necessary if her memory is to perform its function well. I argue, second, that, by eliminating clutter from her memory store, this pattern of forgetting improves the overall shape of the subject’s total doxastic state. I conclude by reviewing work in psychology which suggests that normal human forgetting approximates this virtuous pattern of forgetting
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References found in this work BETA
John R. Anderson (1991). Is Human Cognition Adaptive? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 14 (3):471-485.
Jeffrey Blustein (2008). The Moral Demands of Memory. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
John Sutton, Celia B. Harris, Paul G. Keil & Amanda J. Barnier (2010). The Psychology of Memory, Extended Cognition, and Socially Distributed Remembering. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (4):521-560.
Kourken Michaelian (2013). The Information Effect: Constructive Memory, Testimony, and Epistemic Luck. Synthese 190 (12):2429-2456.
Felipe De Brigard (2013). Is Memory for Remembering? Recollection as a Form of Episodic Hypothetical Thinking. Synthese 191 (2):1-31.
Kourken Michaelian (2012). Metacognition and Endorsement. Mind and Language 27 (3):284-307.
Igor Douven (2012). The Lottery Paradox and the Pragmatics of Belief. Dialectica 66 (3):351-373.
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