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Philosophy | The Metaphysics of Memory

The Metaphysics of Memory

Series: Philosophical Studies Series, Vol. 111

Bernecker, Sven

2008, X, 196 p.

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  • The first book on the metaphysics of memory in four decades
  • The most comprehensive discussion to date of the causal theory of memory
  • A novel contextualist theory of memorial authenticity
  • The study avails itself of contemporary psychology

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.

Content Level » Professional/practitioner

Keywords » Causation - Context - Memory - issue - knowledge - metaphysics - philosophy - truth

Related subjects » Philosophy

Table of contents 

Memory Causation.- Setting the Stage.- The Motivation of the Causal Theory of Memory.- An Argument for Memory Traces.- From Traces to Recall.- Objects of Memory.- The Primary Objects of Memory.- Against Representative Realism.- Skepticism, Externalism, and Closure.- Truth in Memory.- The Factivity Constraint.- Diachronic Content Similarity.- The Pragmatic Dimension of Memory.

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