Are there Special Mechanisms of Involuntary Memory?

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Following the precedent set by Dorthe Berntsen’s 2009 book, Involuntary Autobiographical Memory, this paper asks whether the mechanisms responsible for involuntarily recollected memories are distinct from those that are responsible for voluntarily recollected ones. Berntsen conjectures that these mechanisms are largely the same. Recent work has been thought to show that this is mistaken, but the argument from the recent results to the rejection of Berntsen’s position is problematic, partly because it depends on a philosophically contentious view of voluntariness. Berntsen herself shares this contentious view, but the defenders of her position can easily give it up. This paper explains how and why they should.
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Archival date: 2019-05-27
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