Construction, Preservation, and the Presence of Self in Observer Memory

Análisis Filosófico 40 (2) (2020)
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Abstract

Observer memories involve a representation of the self in the memory image, which is presented from a detached or external point of view. That such an image is an obvious departure from how one initially experienced the event seems relatively straightforward. However, in my book on this type of imagery, I suggested that such memories can in fact, at least in some cases, accurately represent one’s past experience of an event. During these past events there is a sense in which we adopt an external perspective on ourselves. In the present paper, I respond to a critical notice of my book by Marina Trakas. Trakas argues that my account of observer memory unfolded against the background of a problematic preservationist account of episodic memory, and that I failed to adequately account for the presence of self in observer memory. I respond these worries here, and I try to clarify key points that were underdeveloped in the book.

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Christopher Jude McCarroll
National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University