Are "q-memories" empirically realistic? A neurophilosophical approach

Philosophical Psychology 13 (2):191-211 (2000)
Authors
Georg Northoff
University of Ottawa
Abstract
"Quasi-memories," necessarily presupposing a distinction between an "experiencing" and a "remembering" person, are considered by Parfit and Shoemaker as necessary and/or sufficient criteria for personal identity. However, the concept of "q-memories" is rejected by Schechtman since, according to her, neither "content" and "experience" can be separated from each other in "q-memories" ("principal inseparability") nor can they be distinguished from delusions/confabulations ("principal indistinguishability"). The purpose of the present paper is to demonstrate that, relying on a neurophilosophical approach, both arguments can be rejected. Neuropsychological research shows that "contents" of memories are classified according to the accompanying psychological state such that the same "content" can be classified either as auto- or heterobiographical by the respective "experience." Since "content" and "experience" can be separated from each other, the argument of "principal inseparability" must be rejected on empirical grounds. In addition, as demonstrated in an example of a schizophrenic patient, "q-memories" can be distinguished from delusions/confabulations considering the ability to distinguish between different sources of autobiographical memories as a differential criterion. In conclusion, both arguments by Schechtman against the concept of "q-memories" have to be rejected on the basis of neurophilosophical considerations. Consequently, the concept of "q-memories" can be considered as compatible with current empirical knowledge
Keywords Empiricism  Memory  Neurophilosophy  Realism  Science
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/09515080050075681
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 35,545
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Long-Term Memories, Features, and Novelty.James K. Kroger - 2003 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (6):744-745.
Memory as Initial Experiencing of the Past.Mark D. Reid - 2005 - Philosophical Psychology 18 (6):671-698.
Memory and Time.Jordi Fernandez - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 141 (3):333 - 356.
Risdon Vale: Place, Memory, and Suburban Experience.Kate Booth - 2008 - Ethics, Place and Environment 11 (3):299 – 311.
Memory of Time in the Light of Flesh.Charles Scott - 1999 - Continental Philosophy Review 32 (4):421-432.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
44 ( #144,830 of 2,287,910 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #393,176 of 2,287,910 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature