Autonoesis and belief in a personal past: an evolutionary theory of episodic memory indices

Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (3):427-447 (2014)
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Abstract

In this paper I discuss philosophical and psychological treatments of the question "how do we decide that an occurrent mental state is a memory and not, say a thought or imagination?" This issue has proven notoriously difficult to resolve, with most proposed indices, criteria and heuristics failing to achieve consensus. Part of the difficulty, I argue, is that the indices and analytic solutions thus far offered seldom have been situated within a well-specified theory of memory function. As I hope to show, when such an approach is adopted, not only does a new, functionally-grounded answer emerge; we also gain insight into the adaptive significance of the process proposed to underwrite our belief in the memorial status of a mental state (i.e.,autonoetic awareness).

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Stanley Bernard Klein
University of California at Santa Barbara

Citations of this work

What memory is.Stan Klein - 2015 - WIREs Cognitive Science 6 (1):1-38.
Beyond the causal theory? Fifty years after Martin and Deutscher.Kourken Michaelian & Sarah Robins - 2018 - In Kourken Michaelian, Dorothea Debus & Denis Perrin (eds.), New Directions in the Philosophy of Memory. Routledge. pp. 13-32.
Memory.Kourken Michaelian & John Sutton - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture.Jerome H. Barkow, Leda Cosmides & John Tooby - 1992 - Oxford University Press. Edited by Jerome H. Barkow, Leda Cosmides & John Tooby.
Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man.Thomas Reid - 1785 - University Park, Pa.: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Derek R. Brookes & Knud Haakonssen.

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