Causation in Memory: Necessity, Reliability and Probability

Acta Scientiarum 43 (3) (2021)
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Abstract

In this paper, I argue that causal theories of memory are typically committed to two independent, non-mutually entailing theses. The first thesis pertains to the necessity of appropriate causation in memory, specifying a condition token memories need to satisfy. The second pertains to the explanation of memory reliability in causal terms and it concerns memory as a type of mental state. Post-causal theories of memory can reject only the first (weak post-causalism) or both (strong post-causalism) theses. Upon this backdrop, I examine Werning’s (2020) causalist argument from probabilistic correlation. I argue that it doesn’t establish the necessity of appropriate causation and thus it can only target strong post-causalist theories. I end up by presenting some general considerations, suggesting that memories may not always be causally linked to past experiences.

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Nikola Andonovski
Université Grenoble Alpes.

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