Remembering is not a kind of knowing

Synthese 200 (4):333 (2022)
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This paper purports to disprove an orthodox view in contemporary epistemology that I call ‘the epistemic conception of memory’, which sees remembering as a kind of epistemic success, in particular, a kind of knowing. This conception is embodied in a cluster of platitudes in epistemology, including ‘remembering entails knowing’, ‘remembering is a way of knowing’, and ‘remembering is sufficiently analogous to knowing’. I will argue that this epistemic conception of memory, as a whole, should be rejected insofar as we take into account some putative necessary conditions for knowledge. It will be illustrated that while many maintain that knowing must be (1) anti-luck and (2) an achievement, the two conditions do not apply to remembering. I will provide cases where the subject successfully remembers that p but lacks knowledge that p for failing to meet the two putative conditions for knowledge. Therefore, remembering is not a kind of knowing but a sui generis cognitive activity.



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Changsheng Lai
Shanghai JiaoTong University

Citations of this work

Memory belief is weak.Changsheng Lai - 2023 - Ratio 36 (3):204-214.
Memory scepticism and the Pritchardean solution.Changsheng Lai - 2023 - Asian Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):1-20.

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References found in this work

A virtue epistemology.Ernest Sosa - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The Concept of Mind.Gilbert Ryle - 1949 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 141:125-126.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.

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