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Memory and the Sense of Personal Identity

Mind 121 (483):677-702 (2012)

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  1. Narrative Identity and Diachronic Self-Knowledge.Kevin J. Harrelson - 2016 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2 (1):164-179.
    Our ability to tell stories about ourselves has captivated many theorists, and some have taken these developments for an opportunity to answer long-standing questions about the nature of personhood. In this essay I employ two skeptical arguments to show that this move was a mistake. The first argument rests on the observation that storytelling is revisionary. The second implies that our stories about ourselves are biased in regard to our existing self-image. These arguments undercut narrative theories of identity, but they (...)
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  • Aphantasia, SDAM, and Episodic Memory.Lajos Brons - 2019 - Annals of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science 28:9-32.
    Episodic memory (EM) involves re-experiencing past experiences by means of mental imagery. Aphantasics (who lack mental imagery) and people with severely deficient autobiographical memory (SDAM) lack the ability to re-experience, which would imply that they don't have EM. However, aphantasics and people with SDAM have personal and affective memories, which are other defining aspects of EM (in addition to re-experiencing). This suggests that these supposed aspects of EM really are independent faculties or modules of memory, and that EM is a (...)
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  • The Impure Phenomenology of Episodic Memory.Alexandria Boyle - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
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  • The Self in Early Nyāya: A Minimal Conclusion.Monima Chadha - 2013 - Asian Philosophy 23 (1):24-42.
    In this paper I revisit the early Nyāya argument for the existence of a self. In section 1, I reconstruct the argument in Nyāya-sūtra 1.1.10 as an argument from recognition following the interpretation in the Nyāyasūtra-Bhāṣya and the Nyāya-Vārttika. In Section 2, I reassess the plausibility of the Nyāya argument from memory/recognition in the Bhāṣya and the Vārttika in the light of recent empirical research. I conclude that the early Nyāya version of the argument from recognition can only establish a (...)
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  • A Buddhist Explanation of Episodic Memory: From Self to Mind.Monima Chadha - 2014 - Asian Philosophy 24 (1):14-27.
    In this paper, I argue that some of the work to be done by the concept of self is done by the concept of mind in Buddhist philosophy. For the purposes of this paper, I shall focus on an account of memory and its ownership. The task of this paper is to analyse Vasubandhu’s heroic effort to defend the no-self doctrine against the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣikas in order to bring to the fore the Buddhist model of mind. For this, I will discuss (...)
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  • Why Do We Remember? The Communicative Function of Episodic Memory.Johannes B. Mahr & Gergely Csibra - 2018 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 41.
    Episodic memory has been analyzed in a number of different ways in both philosophy and psychology, and most controversy has centered on its self-referential,autonoeticcharacter. Here, we offer a comprehensive characterization of episodic memory in representational terms and propose a novel functional account on this basis. We argue that episodic memory should be understood as a distinctive epistemic attitude taken toward an event simulation. In this view, episodic memory has a metarepresentational format and should not be equated with beliefs about the (...)
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  • Establishing Personal Identity in Reincarnation: Minds and Bodies Reconsidered.Claire White - 2015 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 15 (3-4):402-429.
    Little is known about how the minds and bodies of reincarnated agents are represented. In three studies, participants decided which individual, out of multiple contenders, was most likely to be the reincarnation of a deceased person, based upon a single matching feature between the deceased and each of the candidates. While most participants endorsed reincarnation as entailing a new body, they reasoned that candidates with a similar physical mark or a similar episodic autobiographical memory to the deceased, when alive, were (...)
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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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  • Opening the Doors of Memory: Is Declarative Memory a Natural Kind?Kourken Michaelian - 2015 - Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews 6 (6):475-482.
    Klein's target article argues that autonoetic consciousness is a necessary condition for memory; this unusually narrow view of the scope of memory implies that only episodic memory is, strictly speaking, memory. The narrow view is opposed to the standard broad view, on which causal connection with past experience is sufficient for memory; on the broad view, both declarative (i.e., episodic and semantic) and procedural memory count as genuine forms of memory. Klein mounts a convincing attack on the broad view, arguing (...)
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • The Structure of Episodic Memory: Ganeri's ‘Mental Time Travel and Attention’.Susanna Siegel & Nicholas Silins - 2017 - Australasian Philosophical Review 1 (4):374-394.
    We offer a framework for assessing what the structure of episodic memory might be, if one accepts the Buddhist denial of persisting selves. This paper is a response to Jonardon Ganeri's paper "Mental time travel and attention", which explores Buddhaghosa's ideas about memory. (It will eventually be published with a reply by Ganeri).
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  • The Hybrid Contents of Memory.André Sant’Anna - forthcoming - Synthese.
    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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  • Memory and the Self by Mark Rowlands. [REVIEW]Marina Trakas - 2017 - Phenomenological Reviews 3.
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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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  • 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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  • Personal Memories.Marina Trakas - 2015 - Dissertation, Macquarie University
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  • The Phenomenology of REM-Sleep Dreaming: The Contributions of Personal and Perspectival Ownership, Subjective Temporality and Episodic Memory.Stan Klein - 2019 - 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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  • Remembering Without Storing: Beyond Archival Models in the Science and Philosophy of Human Memory.Ian O'Loughlin - 2014 - Dissertation,
    Models of memory in cognitive science and philosophy have traditionally explained human remembering in terms of storage and retrieval. This tendency has been entrenched by reliance on computationalist explanations over the course of the twentieth century; even research programs that eschew computationalism in name, or attempt the revision of traditional models, demonstrate tacit commitment to computationalist assumptions. It is assumed that memory must be stored by means of an isomorphic trace, that memory processes must divide into conceptually distinct systems and (...)
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  • What Memory Is.Stan Klein - 2015 - WIREs Cognitive Science 6 (1):1-38.
    I argue that our current practice of ascribing the term “ memory ” to mental states and processes lacks epistemic warrant. Memory, according to the “received view”, is any state or process that results from the sequential stages of encoding, storage and retrieval. By these criteria, memory, or its footprint, can be seen in virtually every mental state we are capable of having. This, I argue, stretches the term to the breaking point. I draw on phenomenological, historical and conceptual considerations (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Visual Perspectives in Episodic Memory and the Sense of Self.Ying-Tung Lin - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
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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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  • The Two Selves: Their Metaphysical Commitments and Functional Independence.Stan Klein - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    The Two Selves takes the position that the self is not a "thing" easily reduced to an object of scientific analysis. Rather, the self consists in a multiplicity of aspects, some of which have a neuro-cognitive basis (and thus are amenable to scientific inquiry) while other aspects are best construed as first-person subjectivity, lacking material instantiation. As a consequence of their potential immateriality, the subjective aspect of self cannot be taken as an object and therefore is not easily amenable to (...)
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  • The Nature of the Semantic/Episodic Memory Distinction: A Missing Piece of the “Working Through” Process.Stanley B. Klein & Hans J. Markowitsch - 2015 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 38.
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  • Who Wants to Live Forever?Claire White - 2017 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 17 (5):419-436.
    Around 30% of world cultures endorse reincarnation and 20% of contemporary Americans think that reincarnation is plausible. This paper addresses the question of why belief in reincarnation is so pervasive across geographically disparate contexts. While social scientists have provided compelling explanations of the particularistic aspects of reincarnation, less is known about the psychological foundations of such beliefs. In this paper, I review research in the cognitive science of religion to propose that selected panhuman cognitive tendencies contribute to the cross-cultural success (...)
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  • Mental Time Travel and Attention.Jonardon Ganeri - 2017 - Australasian Philosophical Review 1 (4):353-373.
    ABSTRACTEpisodic memory is the ability to revisit events in one's personal past, to relive them as if one travelled back in mental time. It has widely been assumed that such an ability imposes a metaphysical requirement on selves. Buddhist philosophers, however, deny the requirement and therefore seek to provide accounts of episodic memory that are metaphysically parsimonious. The idea that the memory perspective is a centred field of experience whose phenomenal constituents are simulacra of an earlier field of experience, yet (...)
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  • The Sense of Diachronic Personal Identity.Stan Klein - 2013 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (4):791-811.
    In this paper, I first consider a famous objection that the standard interpretation of the Lockean account of diachronicity (i.e., one’s sense of personal identity over time) via psychological connectedness falls prey to breaks in one’s personal narrative. I argue that recent case studies show that while this critique may hold with regard to some long-term autobiographical self-knowledge (e.g., episodic memory), it carries less warrant with respect to accounts based on trait-relevant, semantic self-knowledge. The second issue I address concerns the (...)
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  • Review of C. McCarroll "Remembering From the Outside: Personal Memory and the Perspectival Mind" (OUP, 2018). [REVIEW]André Sant'Anna - forthcoming - Memory Studies.
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  • Autonoesis and Belief in a Personal Past: An Evolutionary Theory of Episodic Memory Indices.Stan Klein - 2014 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (3):427-447.
    In this paper I discuss philosophical and psychological treatments of the question "how do we decide that an occurrent mental state is a memory and not, say a thought or imagination?" This issue has proven notoriously difficult to resolve, with most proposed indices, criteria and heuristics failing to achieve consensus. Part of the difficulty, I argue, is that the indices and analytic solutions thus far offered seldom have been situated within a well-specified theory of memory function. As I hope to (...)
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  • What is It to Remember?Johannes B. Mahr & Gergely Csibra - 2018 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 41.
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  • Literally Like a Different Person: Context and Concern in Personal Identity.James DiGiovanna - 2015 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 53 (4):387-404.
    It is not the case that there is only one literal sense of “same person.” When presented in different contexts, “she is/is not the same person” can have different answers concerning the same entity or set of entities across the same period of time. This is because: Persons are composed of many parts, and different parts have different persistence conditions. This follows from a reductionist view of the self. When we ask about sameness of persons, or “personal identity,” we are (...)
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