The epistemic innocence of clinical memory distortions

Mind and Language 33 (3):263-279 (2018)

Authors
Lisa Bortolotti
University of Birmingham
Ema Sullivan-Bissett
University of Birmingham
Abstract
In some neuropsychological disorders memory distortions seemingly fill gaps in people’s knowledge about their past, where people’s self-image, history, and prospects are often enhanced. False beliefs about the past compromise both people’s capacity to construct a reliable autobiography and their trustworthiness as communicators. However, such beliefs contribute to people’s sense of competence and self-confidence, increasing psychological wellbeing. Here we consider both psychological benefits and epistemic costs, and argue that distorting the past is likely to also have epistemic benefits that cannot be obtained otherwise, such as enabling people to exchange information, receive feedback, and retain key beliefs about themselves.
Keywords dementia  distorted memory  epistemic benefits  epistemic innocence  psychological benefits  well‐being
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DOI 10.1111/mila.12175
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References found in this work BETA

The Evolution of Misbelief.Ryan T. McKay & Daniel C. Dennett - 2009 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (6):493.
The Constitution of Selves.Christopher Williams & Marya Schechtman - 1998 - Philosophical Review 107 (4):641.
The Epistemic Innocence of Motivated Delusions.Lisa Bortolotti - 2015 - Consciousness and Cognition (33):490-499.

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Citations of this work BETA

Stranger Than Fiction: Costs and Benefits of Everyday Confabulation.Lisa Bortolotti - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 9 (2):227-249.
Superstitious Confabulations.Anna Ichino - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):203-217.

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