A defense of causalist continuism

Abstract

Traditionally, philosophers consider the question of whether episodic memory and imagination belong to the same kind (the (dis)continuism problem) as ultimately depending on the causality question - i.e., whether remembering requires a causal connection to the past event. In this framework, if memory is a simulation process (as claimed by simulationism) and does not require a causal connection, then it is sufficiently similar to imagination and, thus, continuism follows. On the other hand, if a causal connection is necessary for memory (as defended by causalism), then there are fundamental differences between memory and imagination and, thus, discontinuism follows. In contrast with this framework, I will argue that such entanglement is due to a failure of clearly delineating issues of explanation and classification. By distinguishing these matters more explicitly, I conclude that continuism is the better alternative for classification purposes, while maintaining that causalism is still necessary for explaining how memory works.

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Matheus Diesel Werberich
Washington University in St. Louis

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References found in this work

Remembering.C. B. Martin & Max Deutscher - 1966 - Philosophical Review 75 (April):161-96.
Memory as mental time travel.Denis Perrin & Kourken Michaelian - 2017 - In Sven Bernecker & Kourken Michaelian (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Memory. Routledge. pp. 228-239.
Mechanisms and natural kinds.Carl F. Craver - 2009 - Philosophical Psychology 22 (5):575-594.

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