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MemoryA Philosophical Study$
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Sven Bernecker

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199577569

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199577569.001.0001

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Personal Identity and Memory

Personal Identity and Memory

Chapter:
(p.46) 2 Personal Identity and Memory
Source:
Memory
Author(s):

Sven Bernecker (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199577569.003.0003

When a memory content involves an indexical reference to the rememberer, the veridicality constraint on memory demands that the rememberer is numerically the same as the one who had the original experience/representation. This chapter investigates how the notion of personal identity is related to the notion of memory. It starts out by discussing the circularity objection to the psychological continuity theory of personal identity. Shoemaker and Parfit suggest solving the circularity objection by substituting the concept of quasi‐memory for the concept of memory. For the concept of quasi‐memory to provide a solution to the circularity objection quasi‐memory must be conceptually independent both from genuine memory and ostensible memory. The conceptual independence of quasi‐memory has come under attack: there are objections from constitutive holism, from the causal theory of memory, and from the immunity to error through misidentification. This chapter argues that the notion of quasi‐memory is indeed coherent and is not a derivative from the concept of memory. The dependence of memory on personal identity of a contingent rather than a logical nature. This chapter also discusses Wollheim's and Schechtman's narrative self‐constitution view of personal identity.

Keywords:   quasi‐memory, personal identity, circularity objection, Parfit, Shoemaker, constitutive holism, causal theory of memory, immunity to error through misidentification, Schechtman, Wollheim, narrative identity

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