The impure phenomenology of episodic memory

Mind and Language 35 (5):641-660 (2019)
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Episodic memory has a distinctive phenomenology: it involves “mentally reliving” a past event. It has been suggested that characterising episodic memory in terms of this phenomenology makes it impossible to test for in animals, because “purely phenomenological features” cannot be detected in animal behaviour. Against this, I argue that episodic memory's phenomenological features are impure, having both subjective and objective aspects, and so can be behaviourally detected. Insisting on a phenomenological characterisation of episodic memory consequently does nothing to damage the prospects for detecting it in nonhuman animals.



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Alexandria Boyle
London School of Economics

References found in this work

The Principles of Psychology.William James - 1890 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 11 (3):506-507.
The transparency of experience.Michael G. F. Martin - 2002 - Mind and Language 17 (4):376-425.
Memory and consciousness.Endel Tulving - 1985 - Canadian Psychology 26:1-12.

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