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The Philosophy of Daniel Dennett$
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Bryce Huebner

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199367511

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199367511.001.0001

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Memory and the Intentional Stance

Memory and the Intentional Stance

Chapter:
(p.62) 3.1 Memory and the Intentional Stance
Source:
The Philosophy of Daniel Dennett
Author(s):

Felipe De Brigard

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199367511.003.0005

Despite Dennett’s vast scholarship, he seemed to only have directly addressed the topic of memory in a relatively unknown coauthored article published in a somewhat obscure volume. The current chapter attempts to reconstruct the ideas from this old article, and argues that it offers a viable and coherent view of episodic memory with substantial empirical support. Specifically, the chapter uncovers three empirically supported theses. A functional thesis, according to which our memory system not only processes information about past events but also uses this information to construct useful anticipations of possible future events. A computational thesis, according to which statistical regularities, along with individual limitations and goals, probabilistically constrain the search space examined during memory retrieval. And a metaphysical thesis, according to which memories do not exist as subpersonal-level brain structures encoding particular intentional contents but rather as personal-level psychological phenomena only accessible from the intentional stance.

Keywords:   episodic memory, intentional stance, Bayesianism, ACT-R, Daniel Dennett

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