Are "q-memories" empirically realistic? A neurophilosophical approach

Philosophical Psychology 13 (2):191-211 (2000)
"Quasi-memories," necessarily presupposing a distinction between an "experiencing" and a "remembering" person, are considered by Parfit and Shoemaker as necessary and/or sufficient criteria for personal identity. However, the concept of "q-memories" is rejected by Schechtman since, according to her, neither "content" and "experience" can be separated from each other in "q-memories" ("principal inseparability") nor can they be distinguished from delusions/confabulations ("principal indistinguishability"). The purpose of the present paper is to demonstrate that, relying on a neurophilosophical approach, both arguments can be rejected. Neuropsychological research shows that "contents" of memories are classified according to the accompanying psychological state such that the same "content" can be classified either as auto- or heterobiographical by the respective "experience." Since "content" and "experience" can be separated from each other, the argument of "principal inseparability" must be rejected on empirical grounds. In addition, as demonstrated in an example of a schizophrenic patient, "q-memories" can be distinguished from delusions/confabulations considering the ability to distinguish between different sources of autobiographical memories as a differential criterion. In conclusion, both arguments by Schechtman against the concept of "q-memories" have to be rejected on the basis of neurophilosophical considerations. Consequently, the concept of "q-memories" can be considered as compatible with current empirical knowledge
Keywords Empiricism  Memory  Neurophilosophy  Realism  Science
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/09515080050075681
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,974
External links
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

25 ( #119,274 of 1,725,870 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #268,271 of 1,725,870 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.