What counts as a memory? Definitions, hypotheses, and 'kinding in progress'

Philosophy of Science 89 (1):89-106 (2022)
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Abstract

This paper accounts for broad definitions of memory, which extend to paradigmatic memory phenomena, like episodic memory in humans, and phenomena in worms and sea snails. These definitions may seem too broad, suggesting that they extend to phenomena that don’t count as memory or illustrate that memory is not a natural kind. However, these responses fail to consider a definition as a hypothesis. As opposed to construing definitions as expressing memory’s properties, a definition as a hypothesis is the basis to test inferences about phenomena. A definition as a hypothesis is valuable when the “kinding” of phenomena is ongoing.

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Author's Profile

David Colaço
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München

References found in this work

Challenges to the hypothesis of extended cognition.Robert D. Rupert - 2004 - Journal of Philosophy 101 (8):389-428.
Meaning and reference.Hilary Putnam - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (19):699-711.
Natural Kindness.Matthew H. Slater - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (2):375-411.

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