Simulationism and the Function(s) of Episodic Memory

Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (2):487-505 (2020)
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According to simulationism, the function of episodic memory is not to remember the past, but to help construct representations of possible future episodes, by drawing together features from different experiential sources. This article suggests that the relationship between the traditional storehouse view, on which the function of memory is remembering, and the simulationist approach is more complicated than has been typically acknowledged. This is attributed, in part, to incorrect interpretations of what remembering on the storehouse view requires. Further, by appeal to function pluralism, the article questions both the assumption that the traditional view and simulationism are inconsistent, and the simulationist’s inference to the best explanation strategy that is based upon this assumption. The article then provides an evaluation of the simulationist argument against the traditional view, and finds it in need of further support.

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Arieh Schwartz
The London School of Economics and Political Science