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What memory is

WIREs Cognitive Science 6 (1):1-38 (2015)

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  1. Special Attention to the Self: A Mechanistic Model of Patient RB’s Lost Feeling of Ownership.Hunter Gentry - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-29.
    Patient RB has a peculiar memory impairment wherein he experiences his memories in rich contextual detail, but claims to not own them. His memories do not feel as if they happened to him. In this paper, I provide an explanatory model of RB's phenomenology, the self-attentional model. I draw upon recent work in neuroscience on self-attentional processing and global workspace models of conscious recollection to show that RB has a self-attentional deficit that inhibits self-bias processes in broadcasting the contents of (...)
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  • Memory Modification and Authenticity: A Narrative Approach.Muriel Leuenberger - 2022 - Neuroethics 15 (1):1-19.
    The potential of memory modification techniques has raised concerns and sparked a debate in neuroethics, particularly in the context of identity and authenticity. This paper addresses the question whether and how MMTs influence authenticity. I proceed by drawing two distinctions within the received views on authenticity. From this, I conclude that an analysis of MMTs based on a dual-basis, process view of authenticity is warranted, which implies that the influence of MMTs on authenticity crucially depends on the specifics of how (...)
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  • Mindreading, emotion-regulation, and oppression.Maria Doulatova - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-25.
    Theorists of oppression commonly accept that unfair social power disparities result in a variety of harms. In particular, oppression is characterized by a loss of open-mindedness in the oppressors, and negative internalization in the oppressed. That is, while oppressors are often unable or unwilling to consider the points of view of the oppressed, the oppressed often come to internalize conditions of oppression by experiencing them as indicative of their own alleged shortcomings. Nevertheless, the psychological mechanisms behind these phenomena have remained (...)
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  • Episodic Representation: A Mental Models Account.Nikola Andonovski - 2022 - Frontiers in Psychology 13.
    This paper offers a modeling account of episodic representation. I argue that the episodic system constructs mental models: representations that preserve the spatiotemporal structure of represented domains. In prototypical cases, these domains are events: occurrences taken by subjects to have characteristic structures, dynamics and relatively determinate beginnings and ends. Due to their simplicity and manipulability, mental event models can be used in a variety of cognitive contexts: in remembering the personal past, but also in future-oriented and counterfactual imagination. As structural (...)
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  • Collective Mental Time Travel: Remembering the Past and Imagining the Future Together.Kourken Michaelian & John Sutton - 2019 - Synthese 196 (12):4933-4960.
    Bringing research on collective memory together with research on episodic future thought, Szpunar and Szpunar :376–389, 2016) have recently developed the concept of collective future thought. Individual memory and individual future thought are increasingly seen as two forms of individual mental time travel, and it is natural to see collective memory and collective future thought as forms of collective mental time travel. But how seriously should the notion of collective mental time travel be taken? This article argues that, while collective (...)
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  • Semanticization Challenges the Episodic–Semantic Distinction.Sara Aronowitz - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Episodic and semantic memory are often taken to be fundamentally different mental systems, and contemporary philosophers often pursue research questions about episodic memory, in particular, in isolation from semantic memory. This paper challenges that assumption, and puts pressure on philosophical approaches to memory that break off episodic memory as its own standalone topic. I present and systematize psychological and neuroscientific theories of semanticization, the thesis that memory content tends to drift from episodic to semantic in structure over time and exposure (...)
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  • Quantification, Conceptual Reduction and Theoretical Under-Determination in Psychological Science.Stan B. Klein - 2021 - Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice 8 (1):95-103.
    I argue that academic psychology’s quest to achieve scientific respectability by reliance on quantification and objectification is deeply flawed. Specifically, psychological theory typically cannot support prognostication beyond the binary opposition of “effect present/effect absent”. Accordingly, the “numbers” assigned to experimental results amount to little more than affixing names (e.g., more than, less than) to the members of an ordered sequence of outcomes. This, in conjunction with the conceptual under-specification characterizing the targets of experimental inquiry, is, I contend, a primary reason (...)
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  • Episodic memory and the feeling of pastness: from intentionalism to metacognition.Denis Perrin & André Sant’Anna - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-26.
    In recent years, there has been an increasing interest among philosophers of memory in the questions of how to characterize and to account for the temporal phenomenology of episodic memory. One prominent suggestion has been that episodic memory involves a feeling of pastness, the elaboration of which has given rise to two main approaches. On the intentionalist approach, the feeling of pastness is explained in terms of what episodic memory represents. In particular, Fernández has argued that it can be explained (...)
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  • Imagining the Past Reliably and Unreliably: Towards a Virtue Theory of Memory.Kourken Michaelian - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):7477-7507.
    Philosophers of memory have approached the relationship between memory and imagination from two very different perspectives. Advocates of the causal theory of memory, on the one hand, have motivated their preferred theory by appealing to the intuitive contrast between successfully remembering an event and merely imagining it. Advocates of the simulation theory, on the other hand, have motivated their preferred theory by appealing to empirical evidence for important similarities between remembering the past and imagining the future. Recently, causalists have argued (...)
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  • What Is Minimally Cooperative Behavior?Kirk Ludwig - 2020 - In Anika Fiebich (ed.), Minimal Cooperation and Shared Agency. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. pp. 9-40.
    Cooperation admits of degrees. When factory workers stage a slowdown, they do not cease to cooperate with management in the production of goods altogether, but they are not fully cooperative either. Full cooperation implies that participants in a joint action are committed to rendering appropriate contributions as needed toward their joint end so as to bring it about, consistently with the type of action and the generally agreed upon constraints within which they work, as efficiently as they can, where their (...)
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  • Thoughts on the Scientific Study of Phenomenal Consciousness.Stan Klein - 2021 - Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice 8 (74-80).
    This Target paper is about the hard problem of phenomenal consciousness (i.e., how is subjective experience possible given the scientific presumption that everything from molecules to minerals to minds is wholly physical?). I first argue that one of the most valuable tools in the scientific arsenal (metaphor) cannot be recruited to address the hard problem due to the inability to forge connections between the stubborn fact of subjective experience and physically grounded models of scientific explanation. I then argue that adherence (...)
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  • An Essay on the Ontological Foundations and Psychological Realization of Forgetting.Stan Klein - 2019 - Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice 6 (292-305).
    I argue that appreciation of the phenomenon of forgetting requires serious attention to its origins and place in nature. This, in turn, necessitates metaphysical inquiry as well as empirical backing – a combination likely to be eschewed by psychological orthodoxy. But, if we hope to avoid the conceptual vacuity that characterizes too much of contemporary psychological inquiry (e.g., Klein, 2012, 2014a, 2015a, 2016a), a “big picture” approach to phenomena of interest is essential. Adopting this investigative posture turns the “received view” (...)
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  • Working Memory is Not a Natural Kind and Cannot Explain Central Cognition.Javier Gomez-Lavin - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (2):199-225.
    Working memory is a foundational construct of cognitive psychology, where it is thought to be a capacity that enables us to keep information in mind and to use that information to support goal directed behavior. Philosophers have recently employed working memory to explain central cognitive processes, from consciousness to reasoning. In this paper, I show that working memory cannot meet even a minimal account of natural kindhood, as the functions of maintenance and manipulation of information that tie working memory models (...)
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  • The Phenomenology of Remembering Is an Epistemic Feeling.Denis Perrin, Kourken Michaelian & André Sant’Anna - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
  • Against Discontinuism: Mental Time Travel and Our Knowledge of Past and Future Events.Kourken Michaelian - 2016 - In Kourken Michaelian, Stanley B. Klein & Karl K. Szpunar (eds.), Seeing the Future: Theoretical Perspectives on Future-Oriented Mental Time Travel. Oxford University Press. pp. 62-92.
    Continuists maintain that, aside from their distinct temporal orientations, episodic memory and future-oriented mental time travel (FMTT) are qualitatively continuous. Discontinuists deny this, arguing that, in addition to their distinct temporal orientations, there are qualitative metaphysical or epistemological differences between episodic memory and FMTT. This chapter defends continuism by responding both to arguments for metaphysical discontinuism, based on alleged discontinuities between episodic memory and FMTT at the causal, intentional, and phenomenological levels, and to arguments for epistemological discontinuism, based on alleged (...)
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  • Personal Memories.Marina Trakas - 2015 - Dissertation, Macquarie University
  • The Phenomenology of REM-Sleep Dreaming: The Contributions of Personal and Perspectival Ownership, Subjective Temporality and Episodic Memory.Stan Klein - 2018 - Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice 6:55-66.
    Although the dream narrative, of (bio)logical necessity, originates with the dreamer, s/he typically does not know this. For the dreamer, the dream world is the real world. In this article I argue that this nightly misattribution is best explained in terms of the concept of mental ownership (e.g., Albahari, 2006; Klein, 2015a; Lane, 2012). Specifically, the exogenous nature of the dream narrative is the result of an individual assuming perspectival, but not personal, ownership of content s/he authored (i.e., “The content (...)
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  • The Hybrid Contents of Memory.André Sant’Anna - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):1263-1290.
    This paper proposes a novel account of the contents of memory. By drawing on insights from the philosophy of perception, I propose a hybrid account of the contents of memory designed to preserve important aspects of representationalist and relationalist views. The hybrid view I propose also contributes to two ongoing debates in philosophy of memory. First, I argue that, in opposition to eternalist views, the hybrid view offers a less metaphysically-charged solution to the co-temporality problem. Second, I show how the (...)
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  • Thinking About Events: A Pragmatist Account of the Objects of Episodic Hypothetical Thought.André Sant’Anna & Kourken Michaelian - 2019 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 10 (1):187-217.
    The debate over the objects of episodic memory has for some time been stalled, with few alternatives to familiar forms of direct and indirect realism being advanced. This paper moves the debate forward by building on insights from the recent psychological literature on memory as a form of episodic hypothetical thought (or mental time travel) and the recent philosophical literature on relationalist and representationalist approaches to perception. The former suggests that an adequate account of the objects of episodic memory will (...)
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  • The Role of Subjective Temporality in Future-Oriented Mental Time Travel.Stan Klein & Chloe Steindam - 2016 - In Kirk Michaelian, Stan Klein & Karl Szpunar (eds.), Seeing the Future: Theoretical Perspectives on Future-Oriented Mental Time Travel. Oxford University Press. pp. 135-152.
    In this chapter we examine the tendency to view future-oriented mental time travel as a unitary faculty that, despite task-driven surface variation, ultimately reduces to a common phenomenological state. We review evidence that FMTT is neither unitary nor beholden to episodic memory: Rather, it is varied both in its memorial underpinnings and experiential realization. We conclude that the phenomenological diversity characterizing FMTT is dependent not on the type of memory activated during task performance, but on the kind of subjective temporality (...)
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  • Confabulating, Misremembering, Relearning: The Simulation Theory of Memory and Unsuccessful Remembering.Kourken Michaelian - 2016 - Frontiers in Psychology 7:1857.
    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 (...)
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  • The Feeling of Personal Ownership of One’s Mental States: A Conceptual Argument and Empirical Evidence for an Essential, but Underappreciated, Mechanism of Mind.Stan Klein - 2015 - Psychology of Consciousness: Research, Practice, and Theory 2 (4):355-376.
    I argue that the feeling that one is the owner of his or her mental states is not an intrinsic property of those states. Rather, it consists in a contingent relation between consciousness and its intentional objects. As such, there are (a variety of) circumstances, varying in their interpretive clarity, in which this relation can come undone. When this happens, the content of consciousness still is apprehended, but the feeling that the content “belongs to me” no longer is secured. I (...)
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  • Episodic Memory as a Propositional Attitude: A Critical Perspective.André Sant'Anna - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
    The questions of whether episodic memory is a propositional attitude, and of whether it has propositional content, are central to discussions about how memory represents the world, what mental states should count as memories, and what kind of beings are capable of remembering. Despite its importance to such topics, these questions have not been addressed explicitly in the recent literature in philosophy of memory. In one of the very few pieces dealing with the topic, Fernández (2006) provides a positive answer (...)
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  • Memory Without Content? Radical Enactivism and (Post)Causal Theories of Memory.Kourken Michaelian & André Sant’Anna - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 1):307-335.
    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 theories, which remain committed to a (...)
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  • Relativism and Conservatism.Alexander Dinges - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (4):757-772.
    Relativism and contextualism have been suggested as candidate semantics for “knowledge” sentences. I argue that relativism faces a problem concerning the preservation of beliefs in memory. Contextualism has been argued to face a similar problem. I argue that contextualists, unlike relativists, can respond to the concern. The overall upshot is that contextualism is superior to relativism in at least one important respect.
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  • Mental Time Travel and the Philosophy of Memory.André Sant'Anna - 2018 - Unisinos Journal of Philosophy 1 (19):52-62.
    The idea that episodic memory is a form of mental time travel has played an important role in the development of memory research in the last couple decades. Despite its growing importance in psychology, philosophers have only begun to develop an interest in philosophical questions pertaining to the relationship between memory and mental time travel. Thus, this paper proposes a more systematic discussion of the relationship between memory and mental time travel from the point of view of philosophy. I start (...)
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  • 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. Routledge. pp. 13-32.
    It is natural to think of remembering in terms of causation: I can recall a recent dinner with a friend because I experienced that dinner. Some fifty years ago, Martin and Deutscher (1966) turned this basic thought into a full-fledged theory of memory, a theory that came to dominate the landscape in the philosophy of memory. Remembering, Martin and Deutscher argue, requires the existence of a specific sort of causal connection between the rememberer's original experience of an event and his (...)
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  • Remembering with and Without Memory: A Theory of Memory and Aspects of Mind That Enable its Experience.Stan Klein - 2018 - Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Practice and Research 5:117-130.
    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, (...)
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  • A Defense of Experiential Realism: The Need to Take Phenomenological Reality on its Own Terms in the Study of the Mind.Stan Klein - 2015 - Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Practice and Research 2 (1):41-56.
    In this paper I argue for the importance of treating mental experience on its own terms. In defense of “experiential realism” I offer a critique of modern psychology’s all-too-frequent attempts to effect an objectification and quantification of personal subjectivity. The question is “What can we learn about experiential reality from indices that, in the service of scientific objectification, transform the qualitative properties of experience into quantitative indices?” I conclude that such treatment is neither necessary for realizing, nor sufficient for capturing, (...)
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  • On the Difference Between Episodic and Autobiographical Memories.Gabriel Zaccaro - 2021 - Aporia 21:65-78.
    Is there a difference between recollecting episodes from the past and recalling autobiographically? Both in the philosophical and psychological literature, it does not seem that there is a consensus on whether autobiographical memories should be considered as a metaphysically equivalent concept to episodic memories or a different category of memory entirely. In this article, I give reasons to believe that autobiographical memories do not relate to the recollection of past episodes since they do not have an associated subjective experience and (...)
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  • The Sense of Mineness in Personal Memory: Problems for the Endorsement Model.Marina Trakas - 2021 - Estudios de Filosofía (Universidad de Antioquia) 64:155-172.
    What does it take for a subject to experience a personal memory as being her own? According to Fernández’ (2019) model of endorsement, this particular phenomenal quality of our memories, their “sense of mineness”, can be explained in terms of the experience of the mnemonic content as veridical. In this article, I criticize this model for two reasons: (a) the evidence that is used by Fernández to ground his theoretical proposal is dubious; and more importantly, (b) the endorsement model does (...)
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  • Taking the Scientist’s Perspective.Karen Larison - 2018 - Science & Education 27 (1-2):133-157.
    The Next Generation Science Standards mandates that schools provide students an understanding of the skills and knowledge that scientists use to engage in scientific practices. In this article, I argue that one of the best ways to accomplish this goal is to have students take the perspective of the scientist by reading nonfiction narratives written by scientists and science writers. I explore the anthropological and neurological evidence that suggests that perspective-taking is an essential component in the learning process. It has (...)
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  • From Collective Memory ... To Collective Metamemory?Santiago Arango-Munoz & Kourken Michaelian - 2020 - In Anika Fiebich (ed.), Minimal Cooperation and Shared Agency. Studies in the Philosophy of Sociality, vol 11. pp. 195-217.
    Ouraiminthischapteristodelineatetheformofsharedagencythatwe take to be manifested in collective memory. We argue for two theses. First, we argue that, given a relatively weak conception of episodicity, certain small-scale groups display a form of emergent (i.e., genuinely collective) episodic memory, while large-scale groups, in contrast, do not display emergent episodic memory. Second, we argue that this form of emergent memory presupposes (high-level and possibly low-level) metamemorial capacities, capacities that are, however, not themselves emergent group-level features but rather strictly individual-level features. The form of (...)
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  • Autonoetic Consciousness: Re-Considering the Role of Episodic Memory in Future-Oriented Self-Projection.Stan Klein - 2016 - Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 69 (2):381-401.
    Following the seminal work of Ingvar (1985. “Memory for the future”: An essay on the temporal organization of conscious awareness. Human Neurobiology, 4, 127–136), Suddendorf (1994. The discovery of the fourth dimension: Mental time travel and human evolution. Master’s thesis. University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand), and Tulving (1985. Memory and consciousness. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne, 26, 1–12), exploration of the ability to anticipate and prepare for future contingencies that cannot be known with certainty has grown into a thriving research enterprise. (...)
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  • Sciences of Observation.Chris Fields - 2018 - Philosophies 3 (4):29-0.
    Multiple sciences have converged, in the past two decades, on a hitherto mostly unremarked question: what is observation? Here, I examine this evolution, focusing on three sciences: physics, especially quantum information theory, developmental biology, especially its molecular and “evo-devo” branches, and cognitive science, especially perceptual psychology and robotics. I trace the history of this question to the late 19th century, and through the conceptual revolutions of the 20th century. I show how the increasing interdisciplinary focus on the process of extracting (...)
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  • The Experience of Being Oneself in Memory: Exploring Sense of Identity via Observer Memory.Ying-Tung Lin - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (2):405-422.
    Every episodic memory entails a sense of identity, which allows us to mentally travel through time. There is a special way by which the subject who is remembering comes into contact with the self that is embedded in the episodic simulation of memory: we can directly and robustly experience the protagonist in memory as ourselves. This paper explores what constitutes such experience in memory. On the face of it, the issue may seem trivial: of course, we are able to entertain (...)
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  • Memory and the Self: Phenomenology, Science and Autobiography. [REVIEW]Kourken Michaelian - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9:177.
  • Remembering the Personal Past: Beyond the Boundaries of Imagination.Christopher Jude McCarroll - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
  • Visual Perspectives in Episodic Memory and the Sense of Self.Ying-Tung Lin - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
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  • Lost Feeling of Ownership of One’s Mental States: The Importance of Situating Patient R.B.'s Pathology in the Context of Contemporary Theory and Empiricism.Stan Klein - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (4):490-493.
    In her re-analysis of the evidence presented in Klein and Nichols (2012) to support their argument that patient R.B. temporarily lost possessory custody of consciously apprehended objects (in this case, objects that normally would be non-inferentially taken as episodic memory), Professor Roache concludes Klein and Nichols's claims are untenable. I argue that Professor Roache is incorrect in her re-interpretation, and that this is due, in part, to lack of sufficient familiarity with psychological theory on memory as well as clinical literature (...)
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