Naturalism and simulationism in the philosophy of memory

In Ali Hossein Khani & Gary Kemp (eds.), Naturalism and Its Challenges. New York: Routledge (forthcoming)
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In this chapter, we examine the naturalist approach in the philosophy of memory through the lens of the simulation theory of memory. On the theory, episodic memory is a kind of constructive simulation performed by a functionally specialized neurocognitive system. Taking naturalism to be a kind of methodological stance characterized by a cluster of epistemic guidelines, we illustrate the roles these guidelines have played in the development of the theory. We show how scientific evidence has guided both the selection of the research question and the initial elaboration of the theory. We demonstrate how such evidence has led the simulationist to reject a familiar, commonsense picture of memory. We also trace the recent radicalization of the theory, highlighting the simulationist's continual reflection on their concepts and assumptions. In the spirit of such reflection, we end by outlining some outstanding challenges for the theory.

Author's Profile

Nikola Andonovski
Université Grenoble Alpes.


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