Chapter

Pastist Externalism about Memory Content

Sven Bernecker

in Memory

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780199577569
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722820 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199577569.003.0007
Pastist Externalism about Memory Content

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Content externalism is the view that the individuation conditions of mental content depend, in part, on external or relational properties of the subject's environment rather than only on internal properties of the subject's mind and brain. This chapter motivates content externalism by discussing Putnam's and Burge's Twin Earth thought experiments. It gives an overview over different versions of externalism and applies externalism to memory contents. There are three different kind of externalism about memory content: pastist, presentist, and futurist externalism. According to the version of pastist externalism argued for here, the content of a memory state is fixed, once and for all, by the environment the subject was in at the time he had the original thought. When some content is stored in memory it is inert to all subsequent environmental changes. Content externalism is compared and contrasted with the hypothesis of the extended mind. The chapter also includes a brief discussion of collective memory.

Keywords: content externalism; pastist externalism; presentist externalism; futurist externalism; mental content; extended mind hypothesis; twin earth; collective memory; Putnam; Burge

Chapter.  12826 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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