WIREs Cognitive Science 6 (1):1-38 (2015)

Authors
Stanely Bernard Klein
University of California at Santa Barbara
Abstract
I argue that our current practice of ascribing the term “ memory ” to mental states and processes lacks epistemic warrant. Memory, according to the “received view”, is any state or process that results from the sequential stages of encoding, storage and retrieval. By these criteria, memory, or its footprint, can be seen in virtually every mental state we are capable of having. This, I argue, stretches the term to the breaking point. I draw on phenomenological, historical and conceptual considerations to make the case that an act of memory entails a direct, non-inferential feeling of re-acquaintance with one’s past. It does so by linking content retrieved from storage with autonoetic awareness during retrieval. On this view, memory is not the content of experience, but the manner in which that content is experienced. I discuss some theoretical and practical implications and advantages of adopting this more nuanced view of memory. -/-
Keywords memory  theory  experience/consciousness  episodic recollection  philosophy  neuroscience
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References found in this work BETA

The Concept of Mind.Gilbert Ryle - 1949 - Hutchinson & Co.
Elements of Episodic Memory.Endel Tulving - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man.Thomas Reid - 2002 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

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.

View all 24 citations / Add more citations

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