According to the Causal Theory of Memory, remembering a particular past event requires a causal connection between that event and its subsequent representation in memory, specifically, a connection sustained by a memory trace. The CTM is the default view of memory in contemporary philosophy, but debates persist over what the involved memory traces must be like. Martin and Deutscher argued that the CTM required memory traces to be structural analogues of past events. Bernecker and (...) Michaelian, contemporary CTM proponents, reject structural analogues in favor of memory traces as distributed patterns of event features. The proposals are understood as distinct accounts of how memory traces represent past events. But there are two distinct questions one could ask about a trace’s representational features. One might ask how memory traces, qua mental representations, have their semantic properties. Or, what makes memory traces, qua mental representations of memories, distinct from other mental representations. Proponents of the CTM, both past and present, have failed to keep these two questions distinct. The result is a serious but unnoticed problem for the CTM in its current form. Distributed memory traces are incompatible with the CTM. Such traces do not provide a way to track the causal history of individual memories, as the CTM requires. If memory traces are distributed patterns of event features, as Bernecker and Michaelian each claim, then the CTM cannot be right. (shrink)
This essay investigates the notion of simulation and the role it plays in Kourken Michaelian's simulation theory of memory. I argue that the notion is importantly ambiguous and that this ambiguity may threaten some of the central commitments of the theory. To illustrate that, I examine two different conceptions of simulation: a narrow one (simulation as replication) and a broad one (simulation as computational modeling), arguing that the preferred narrow conception is incompatible with the claim that remembering involves the (...) simulation of past episodes. Investigating possible solutions, I suggest that, despite some relatively serious consequences, the theory may be better off subscribing to the broad notion of simulation. (shrink)
In Memory: A Philosophical Study, Bernecker argues for an account of contiguity. This Contiguity View is meant to solve relearning and prompting, wayward causation problems plaguing the causal theory of memory. I argue that Bernecker’s Contiguity View fails in this task. Contiguity is too weak to prevent relearning and too strong to allow prompting. These failures illustrate a problem inherent in accounts of memory causation. Relearning and prompting are both causal relations, wayward only with respect to our (...) interest in specifying remembering’s requirements. Solving them requires saying more about remembering, not causation. I conclude by sketching such an account. (shrink)
The paper aims to provide an account of the phenomenological differences between perception, recognition and recall. In the first section, recall is distinguished from non-experiential forms of memory. In the second section, it is argued that we can't distinguish perceptual experience from the experience of recall by means of perception's present tense content because it is possible to perceive as well as to recall the past. The Lockean theory of recall as a revival of previous perceptual experience is then (...) introduced, applied and defended against objections. Next, recall is distinguish from memory recognition. Finally, some relevant psychological data is described. (shrink)
Radical enactivism, an increasingly influential approach to cognition in general, has recently been applied to memory in particular, with Hutto and Peeters New directions in the philosophy of memory, Routledge, New York, 2018) providing the first systematic discussion of the implications of the approach for mainstream philosophical theories of memory. Hutto and Peeters argue that radical enactivism, which entails a conception of memory traces as contentless, is fundamentally at odds with current causal and postcausal (...) class='Hi'>theories, which remain committed to a conception of traces as contentful: on their view, if radical enactivism is right, then the relevant theories are wrong. Partisans of the theories in question might respond to Hutto and Peeters’ argument in two ways. First, they might challenge radical enactivism itself. Second, they might challenge the conditional claim that, if radical enactivism is right, then their theories are wrong. In this paper, we develop the latter response, arguing that, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, radical enactivism in fact aligns neatly with an emerging tendency in the philosophy of memory: radical enactivists and causal and postcausal theorists of memory have begun to converge, for distinct but compatible reasons, on a contentless conception of memory traces. (shrink)
This articles develops a taxonomy of memory errors in terms of three conditions: the accuracy of the memory representation, the reliability of the memory process, and the internality (with respect to the remembering subject) of that process. Unlike previous taxonomies, which appeal to retention of information rather than reliability or internality, this taxonomy can accommodate not only misremembering (e.g., the DRM effect), falsidical confabulation, and veridical relearning but also veridical confabulation and falsidical relearning. Moreover, because it does (...) not assume that successful remembering presupposes retention of information, the taxonomy is compatible with recent simulation theories of remembering. (shrink)
For Locke, memory is a power of the mind “to revive Perceptions, which it has once had, with this additional perception annexed to them, that it has had them before.” In my view, this is a correct and complete account of one form of memory: experiential recall. First, it tells us that a recollection counts as veridical only if the experience of the object recalled is an experience the subject has had before. Second, it explains the phenomenological difference (...) between recollection and other experiential states by noting that a recollection must present itself to the subject as an experience he previously enjoyed. (shrink)
This article builds on ideas presented in Klein (2015a) concerning the importance of a more nuanced, conceptually rigorous approach to the scientific understanding and use of the construct “memory”. I first summarize my model, taking care to situate discussion within the terminological practices of contemporary philosophy of mind. I then elucidate the implications of the model for a particular operation of mind – the manner in which content presented to consciousness realizes its particular phenomenological character (i.e., mode of presentation). (...) Finally, I discuss how the model offers a reconceptualization of the technical language used by psychologists and neuroscientists to formulate and test ideas about memory. (shrink)
In their paper "Remembering," first published in the Philosophical Review in 1966, Martin and Deutscher develop what has since come to be known as the Causal Theory of Memory. The core claim of the Causal Theory of Memory runs as follows: If someone remembers something, whether it be "public," such as a car accident, or "private," such as an itch, then the following criteria must be fulfilled: 1. Within certain limits of accuracy he represents that past thing. 2. (...) I f the thing was "public," then he observed what he now represents. If the thing was "private," then it was his. 3. His past experience of the thing was operative in producing a state or successive states in him finally operative in producing his representation. These three statements express the condition which we consider to be separately necessary and jointly sufficient, if an event is to be an instance of remembering. (shrink)
In this paper we argue that autobiographical memory can be conceptualized as a mental state resulting from the interplay of a set of psychological capacities?self-reflection, self-agency, self-ownership and personal temporality?that transform a memorial representation into an autobiographical personal experience. We first review evidence from a variety of clinical domains?for example, amnesia, autism, frontal lobe pathology, schizophrenia?showing that breakdowns in any of the proposed components can produce impairments in autobiographical recollection, and conclude that the self-reflection, agency, ownership, and personal temporality (...) are individually necessary and jointly sufficient for autobiographical memorial experience. We then suggest a taxonomy of amnesic disorders derived from consideration of the consequences of breakdown in each of the individual component processes that contribute to the experience of autobiographical recollection. (shrink)
In the multidisciplinary field of memory studies, remembering and forgetting have mainly been analyzed following two ideal-typical models: memory-as-containment and memory-as-flow. These two models are often presented as mutually exclusive and counterposed. Yet, in linking past with present, and when connecting different spaces and generations, memory is always the result of circulation as well as of local semiotic conditions of production and use. By investigating memory-making and oblivion-making in processes of interpretation, the semiotic perspective elaborated (...) by Umberto Eco allows us to envision memory-as-containment and memory-as-flow in a combined analysis, where the twofold conception of memory – either as movement or as form – merges. The aim of this article is, then, to provide an interpretative theory of memory, and to identify and describe the methodological tools capable of implementing such an approach. The memory of the former Italian concentration camp of Fossoli will serve as an exemplary and illustrative case study. (shrink)
In the literature on episodic memory, one claim that has been made by a number of psychologists, and that is also at least implicit in some of the accounts given by philosophers, is that being able to recollect particular past events in the distinctive way afforded by episodic memory requires the possession of aspects of a theory of mind, such as a grasp of the relationship between one’s present recollective experience and one’s own past perceptual experience of the (...) remembered event. In this paper, I re-examine what connection, if any, there is between episodic memory and theory of mind. I first criticize the dominant way in which this connection has been construed theoretically, which – perhaps influenced by other aspects of theory of mind research – has sought to link the possession of episodic memory primarily with a grasp of the idea of representation, or the idea of informational access. I then argue for a novel, alternative, way of connecting episodic memory and theory of mind, which focuses on the category of an experience, and on the role a grasp of that category might be seen to play in episodic recollection. In doing so, I also draw attention to a dimension of our understanding of the mental which remains as yet underexplored in the literature on theory of mind. (shrink)
Situating narrative: philosophical and theological context -- Ethical being: the storied self as moral agent -- Reconciled being: narrative and pardon -- Pedagogies of pardon in praxis -- Towards a narrative pedagogy of reconciliation -- Ricoeur's legacy: A Praxis of Peace.
A theory of occurrent factual memory is sketched out. The theory represents an alterative to the traditional theory in John L. Pollock’s Knowledge and Justification, in that it analyzes occurrently remembering that p without employing the notion of ostensible recollection that p. The latter notion, it is argued, can be understood in terms of occurrently believing (or being inclined to believe) that p. In defending his theory against nontraditional alternatives, Pollock employs arguments that conflict with his own principle of (...) implicit reasons. That principle, it is shown, sanctions cross-temporal justification of the sort presupposed by the alternative nontraditional theory. [CORRIGENDUM: Line 6 at the top of page 137 should read: memory, then if S occurrently remembers that p at t, then S, at t, has a justified (occurrent) belief that p such that (a) this belief that p constitutes, at t, S’s In lines 7–9 at the top of page 140, the sentence beginning with “For” and ending with “way” should be deleted, and in line 11 “fact” should be “face”.] . (shrink)
The causal and simulation theories are often presented as very distinct views about declarative memory, their major difference lying on the causal condition. The causal theory states that remembering involves an accurate representation causally connected to an earlier experience. In the simulation theory, remembering involves an accurate representation generated by a reliable memory process. I investigate how to construe detailed versions of these theories that correctly classify memory errors as misremembering or confabulation. Neither causalists nor (...) simulationists have paid attention to memory-conjunction errors, which is unfortunate because both theories have problems with these cases. The source of the difficulty is the background assumption that an act of remembering has one target. I fix these theories for those cases. The resulting versions are closely related when implemented using tools of information theory, differing only on how memory transmits information about the past. The implementation provides us with insights about the distinction between confabulatory and non-confabulatory memory, where memory-conjunction errors have a privileged position. (shrink)
Starting from Marr's ideas about levels of explanation, a theory of the data structures and access processes in human memory is demonstrated on 10 tasks. Functional characteristics of human memory are captured implementation-independently. Our theory generates a multidimensional task classification subsuming existing classifications such as the distinction between tasks that are implicit versus explicit, data driven versus conceptually driven, and simple associative versus higher order, providing a broad basis for new experiments. The formal language clarifies the binding problem (...) in episodic memory, the role of input pathways in both episodic and semantic memory, the importance of the input set in episodic memory, and the ubiquitous calculation of an intersection in theories of episodic and lexical access. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss philosophical and psychological treatments of the question "how do we decide that an occurrent mental state is a memory and not, say a thought or imagination?" This issue has proven notoriously difficult to resolve, with most proposed indices, criteria and heuristics failing to achieve consensus. Part of the difficulty, I argue, is that the indices and analytic solutions thus far offered seldom have been situated within a well-specified theory of memory function. As I (...) hope to show, when such an approach is adopted, not only does a new, functionally-grounded answer emerge; we also gain insight into the adaptive significance of the process proposed to underwrite our belief in the memorial status of a mental state (i.e.,autonoetic awareness). (shrink)
Data are presented that focus on the nature and development of argumentative reasoning. In particular our study describes how support for or against an issue affects memory for critical parts of an argumentative interaction, judgments of argument goodness, and the content of the reasons given in support of one view versus another. Two other factors were examined: developmental differences in argumentation skill and the conditional nature of supporting one side of an argument across varying contexts. Our results show that (...) even seven year old children can recognize, identify, and use the basic components of an argument to provide evidence for and make judgements about their favored position. Moreover, if position support is held constant across all age groups of students, seven year old children were found to give reasons and explanations that were highly similar in content and principle to college students. The same similarities held across age with respect to biases in memory and judgements of argument goodness. The primary difference between children's and college students' argument behavior lay in the side of an argument the students chose to support. Seven year old children and some eleven yearold children supported positions that impute more value to friendship and social consequences than to the maintenance and advancement of individual rights, as specified in a contract agreement. The similarities and differences across development are discussed with respect to a theory of argumentation that speaks to the importance of understanding the nature of goal conflict and a theory of intentionality in predicting how arguments will be represented and resolved. (shrink)
Traditionally, Hume's account of memory is considered an individualist-atomic representational theory. However, textual evidence suggests that Hume's account is better seen as a first attempt to create a social theory of memory that considers social context, custom and habits, language, and logical structures as constitutive elements of memory.
This book investigates central issues in the philosophy of memory. Does remembering require a causal process connecting the past representation to its subsequent recall and, if so, what is the nature of the causal process? Of what kind are the primary intentional objects of memory states? How do we know that our memory experiences portray things the way they happened in the past? Given that our memory is not only a passive device for reproducing thoughts but (...) also an active device for processing stored thoughts, when are thoughts sufficiently similar to be memory-related? The Metaphysics of Memory defends a version of the causal theory of memory, argues for direct realism about memory, proposes an externalist response to skepticism about memory knowledge, and develops a contextualist account of the factivity constraint on memory. (shrink)
This interdisciplinary work is premised on a holistic account of the historical, philosophical, neuroscientific, and sociocultural aspects of memory that yields a novel theory: the primary human drive is not to “power” or “pleasure” but to significance and memorability. Above all, we want to be cosmically important and remembered.
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