Is memory preservation?

Philosophical Studies 148 (1):3-14 (2010)
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Memory seems intuitively to consist in the preservation of some proposition (in the case of semantic memory) or sensory image (in the case of episodic memory). However, this intuition faces fatal difficulties. Semantic memory has to be updated to reflect the passage of time: it is not just preservation. And episodic memory can occur in a format (the observer perspective) in which the remembered image is different from the original sensory image. These difficulties indicate that memory cannot be preserved content. It is proposed that what is preserved in memory isan underlying "trace", and that in every act of remembering, memorial content is reconstructed from the preserved trace.
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Archival date: 2013-02-28
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