A defense of causalist continuism


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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