'Rather than Succour, My Memories Bring Eloquent Stabs of Pain' On the Ambiguous Role of Memory in Grief

Journal of Consciousness Studies 29 (9-10):36-62 (2022)
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Memory can play two quite different roles in grief. Memories involving a deceased loved one can make them feel either enjoyably present, or especially and painfully absent. In this paper, we consider what makes it possible for memory to play these two different roles, both in grief and more generally. We answer this question by appeal to the phenomenological nature of vivid remembering, and the context in which such memories occur. We argue that different contexts can make salient different aspects of memory's phenomenological nature, thus making what is remembered sometimes feel pleasantly 'present' again, and sometimes painfully absent.



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Author Profiles

Louise Richardson
University of York
Dorothea Debus
University of York

Citations of this work

Grief, Smell and the Olfactory Air of a Person.Becky Millar & Louise Richardson - 2023 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 104 (4):769-790.

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References found in this work

Seeing absence.Anna Farennikova - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (3):429-454.
Presence in absence. The ambiguous phenomenology of grief.Thomas Fuchs - 2018 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 17 (1):43-63.
Towards a phenomenology of grief: Insights from Merleau‐Ponty.Matthew Ratcliffe - 2020 - European Journal of Philosophy 28 (3):657-669.
Grief.Donald Gustafson - 1989 - Noûs 23 (4):457-479.
A new theory of absence experience.Laura Gow - 2020 - European Journal of Philosophy 29 (1):168-181.

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