Memory, Imagination, and Skill

In Anja Berninger & Ingrid Vendrell Ferran (eds.), Philosophical Perspectives on Memory and Imagination. Routledge. pp. 193-2011 (2023)
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Among the many commonalities between memory and imagination is the fact that they can both be understood as skills. In this chapter, I aim to draw out some connections between the skill of memory and the skill of imagination in an effort to learn something about the nature of these activities and the connection between them. I start by considering the ways that one might work to cultivate these skills in the hope that we could learn something about imagination training by reflection on memory training and vice versa. Interestingly, however, an initial look at the empirical research on the respective training regimens does not show much potential for this kind of crossover. Though there are some commonalities that can be found across the training regimens, these commonalities are nothing special over and above the kinds of commonalities one might find in training regimens for skills of any sort. Fortunately, however, the matter does not end there. When we think more deeply about the details of some of the training regimens for memory, we discover some important connections between the skill of memory and the skill of imagination. In particular, I argue that the two skills turn out to be interestingly intertwined.

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Amy Kind
Claremont McKenna College


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