Memory as initial experiencing of the past

Philosophical Psychology 18 (6):671-698 (2005)
This analysis explores theories of recollective memories and their shortcomings to show how certain recollective memories are to some extent the initial experiencing of past conscious mental states. While dedicated memory theorists over the past century show remembering to be an active and subjective process, they usually make simplistic assumptions regarding the experience that is remembered. Their treatment of experience leaves unexplored the notion that the truth of memory is a dynamic interaction between experience and recollection. The argument's seven sections examine how experience, consciousness, and the self produce memories in odd but actual situations. Examples are presented that are either actual or technologically possible, and they pose a challenge for some theories of memory. Showing that an experience and a memory must be bound by psychological continuity, the sections build upon each other to challenge aprioristic beliefs about the self and consciousness. The later sections examine the lack of available accounts of memory that acknowledge consciousness, dissociation, and "selfhood" to be matters of degree, thus rendering memory theories next to useless when trying to effectively incorporate the notions of experience and reality.
Keywords Consciousness  Continuity  Experience  Memory  Metaphysics  Unity
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DOI 10.1080/09515080500355194
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