Candrakīrti on Deflated Episodic Memory: Response to Endel Tulving's Challenge

Australasian Philosophical Review 1 (4):432-438 (2017)
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ABSTRACTIn my response to Ganeri's [2018] paper, I take Buddhagosha's deflationary account of episodic memory one step further through the analysis of the Madhyamaka philosopher Candrakīrti who, like Buddhagosha, explicitly defends episodic memory as a recollection of the objects experienced in the past, rather than subjective experience. However, unlike Buddhagosha, Candrakīrti deflates episodic memory by showing the incoherence of the Sautrāntika-Yogācāra's thesis that episodic memory requires the admission of reflexive awareness. Also unlike Buddhagosha, Candrakīrti shows the incoherence of the Mimāṁsāka-Naiyāyika's self-implication requirement thesis, therefore directly countering Tulving's challenge to the Buddhist philosophers, by arguing that episodic memory is capable of mental time travel without any reference to the operation of enduring self. I will thus suggest that Candrakīrti may have even greater success in deflating the self-implication requirement of episodic memory.
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