Events, narratives and memory

Synthese 193 (8) (2016)
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Abstract

Whether non-human animals can have episodic memories remains the subject of extensive debate. A number of prominent memory researchers defend the view that animals do not have the same kind of episodic memory as humans do, whereas others argue that some animals have episodic-like memory—i.e., they can remember what, where and when an event happened. Defining what constitutes episodic memory has proven to be difficult. In this paper, I propose a dual systems account and provide evidence for a distinction between event memory and episodic memory. Event memory is a perceptual system that evolved to support adaptive short-term goal processing, whereas episodic memory is based on narratives, which bind event memories into a retrievable whole that is temporally and causally organized around subject’s goals. I argue that carefully distinguishing event memory from episodic memory can help resolve the debate

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Nazim Keven
Bilkent University

References found in this work

Consciousness Explained.Daniel C. Dennett - 1993 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (4):905-910.
The Constitution of Selves.Marya Schechtman (ed.) - 1996 - Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

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