The Phenomenology of Memory

In Sven Bernecker & Kourken Michaelian (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Memory. New York: Routledge. pp. 21-33 (2017)
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The most salient aspect of memory is its role in preserving previously acquired information so as to make it available for further activities. Anna realizes that something is amiss in a book on Roman history because she learned and remembers that Caesar was murdered. Max turned up at the party and distinctively remembers where he was seated, so he easily gets his hands on his lost cell phone. The fact that information is not gained anew distinguishes memory from perception. The fact that information is preserved distinguishes memory from imagination. But how do acquisition and retrieval of information contribute to the phenomenology of memory?The exclusive aim of this chapter is to sketch a map of the phenomenology of memory. It is structured as follows. In section 1, I introduce the contrast between content (what is remembered) and psychological attitude (remembering). This distinction will be helpful in disentangling issues in the phenomenology of memory. Section 2 is devoted to the contribution of memory content to phenomenology, section 3 to the contribution of the attitude of remembering.

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Fabrice Teroni
University of Geneva


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