Constructing a wider view on memory: Beyond the dichotomy of field and observer perspectives

In Anja Berninger & Íngrid Vendrell Ferran (eds.), Philosophical Perspectives on Memory and Imagination. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 165-190 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Memory perspectives on past events allegedly take one of two shapes. In field memories, we recall episodes from a first-person point of view, while in observer memories, we look at a past scene from a third-person perspective. But this mere visuospatial dichotomy faces several practical and conceptual challenges. First, this binary distinction is not exhaustive. Second, this characterization insufficiently accounts for the phenomenology of observer memories. Third, the focus on the visual aspect of memory perspective neglects emotional, agential, and self-related social aspects. Fourth, the focus on the time of recall neglects the fact that visual, emotional, agential, and social aspects of perspective can also be dissociated in the original experience. In this chapter, we move away from the standard visual dichotomy. Instead, we propose that memory perspective is better understood along four lines: visual, agential, emotional, and social. Drawing on empirical research, we argue that these dimensions predict a disposition to recall a past event based on the present situation of the memorizer. This account supports seeing episodic memory as a natural kind, supported by scenario construction mechanisms and minimal memory traces. By remapping the classic distinction between field and observer perspectives along four dimensions, our proposal provides explanatory advantages and secures practical gains by enabling testable hypotheses.



External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Perspective. [REVIEW]Christopher McCarroll & John Sutton - 2023 - In Lucas Bietti & Pogacar Martin (eds.), The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Memory Studies. Palgrave Macmillan.
Perspective.Christopher J. McCarroll & John Sutton - 2023 - The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Memory Studies.
Affective memory: a little help from our imagination.Margherita Arcangeli & Jérôme Dokic - 2018 - In Kourken Michaelian, Dorothea Debus & Denis Perrin (eds.), New Directions in the Philosophy of Memory. New York: Routledge. pp. 139-156.
Remembering trauma in epistemology.Matthew Frise - 2024 - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences.


Added to PP

244 (#87,714)

6 months
130 (#38,323)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Erica Cosentino
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Markus Werning
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Anco Peeters
Radboud University

References found in this work

The direction of time.Hans Reichenbach - 1956 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications. Edited by Maria Reichenbach.
Perceptual symbol systems.Lawrence W. Barsalou - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (4):577-660.
Exograms and Interdisciplinarity: history, the extended mind, and the civilizing process.John Sutton - 2010 - In Richard Menary (ed.), The Extended Mind. Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press. pp. 189-225.

View all 42 references / Add more references