The Nature of Memory Causation

Sven Bernecker

in Memory

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780199577569
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722820 | DOI:
The Nature of Memory Causation

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This chapter examines the nature of memory causation. This involves identifying the vehicle of memory causation, specifying the strength of the causal relation constitutive of memory, and ruling out deviant causal chains. It is argued that the causal chains connecting the past and present representation must consist in a persisting memory trace. Memory traces are either dispositional beliefs or subdoxastic states. For a memory trace to give rise to a genuine memory it must at least be an INUS condition for one's present state of seeming to remember. If the memory trace is an independently sufficient condition for the state of seeming to remember, it may not be preempted by another independently sufficient condition. The dependence of memory states on past representations must support counterfactuals of the form: if the subject hadn't represented a particular proposition in the past he wouldn't represent it now. This chapter discusses, among other things, the possibility of trace transplants, connectionism, the Gettier problem, hypnosis, and suggestibility.

Keywords: memory trace; dispositional belief; subdoxastic state; INUS condition; counterfactual dependence; trace transplants; connectionism; Gettier problem; hypnosis; suggestibility

Chapter.  11777 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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