Cryptomnesia: a three-factor account

Synthese 201 (1):1-24 (2023)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Understood as a psychological phenomenon, there has been very little discussion of cryptomnesia in the philosophical literature. Cryptomnesia presents us with a strange phenomenon in which we take ourselves to be imagining, but the thought or idea that we entertain actually involves remembered content. In this paper, we argue for a three-factor account of cryptomnesia, according to which it is a mnemonic phenomenon that involves imagination. We provide an account of both the ‘mnemonic’ and ‘imaginative’ aspects of cryptomnesia in terms of the attitude, the content, and the metacognitive processes involved in those states. In addition, we show how our three-factor account is better suited to account for cryptomnesia than competing philosophical theories of episodic memory. We conclude by discussing how the three-factor account sheds light on a range of other mnemonic and imaginative phenomena.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 93,745

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

37 (#118,170)

6 months
16 (#899,032)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

André Sant'Anna
University of Geneva
Christopher Jude McCarroll
National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Explaining Imagination.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2020 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Memory: A Philosophical Study.Sven Bernecker - 2010 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Imagination.Shen-yi Liao & Tamar Gendler - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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. New York: Routledge. pp. 13-32.

View all 16 references / Add more references