Confabulating as Unreliable Imagining: In Defence of the Simulationist Account of Unsuccessful Remembering

Topoi 39 (1):133-148 (2020)
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This paper responds to Bernecker’s attack on Michaelian’s simulationist account of confabulation, as well as his defence of the causalist account of confabulation :432–447, 2016a) against Michaelian’s attack on it. The paper first argues that the simulationist account survives Bernecker’s attack, which takes the form of arguments from the possibility of unjustified memory and justified confabulation, unscathed. It then concedes that Bernecker’s defence of the causalist account against Michaelian’s attack, which takes the form of arguments from the possibility of veridical confabulation and falsidical relearning, is partly successful. This concession points the way, however, to a revised simulationist account that highlights the role played by failures of metacognitive monitoring in confabulation and that provides a means of distinguishing between “epistemically innocent” and “epistemically culpable” memory errors. Finally, the paper responds to discussions by Robins and Bernecker of the role played by the concept of reliability in Michaelian’s approach, offering further considerations in support of simulationism.
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Archival date: 2018-12-29
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