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Memory: A Philosophical Study
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Memory: A Philosophical Study (Paperback)

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Synopsis

Sven Bernecker presents an analysis of the concept of propositional (or factual) memory, and examines a number of metaphysical and epistemological issues crucial to the understanding of memory.

Bernecker argues that memory, unlike knowledge, implies neither belief nor justification. There are instances where memory, though hitting the mark of truth, succeeds in an epistemically defective way. This book shows that, contrary to received wisdom in epistemology, memory not only preserves epistemic features generated by other epistemic sources but also functions as a source of justification and knowledge.

According to the causal theory of memory argued for in this book, the dependence of memory states on past representations supports counterfactuals of the form: if the subject hadn't represented a given proposition in the past he wouldn't represent it in the present. The book argues for a version of content externalism whereupon the individuation of memory contents depends on relations the subject bears to his past physical or social environment. Moreover, Bernecker shows that memory doesn't

require identity, but only similarity, of past and present attitudes and contents. The notion of content similarity is explicated in terms of the entailment relation.

Sven Bernecker is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California Irvine. His main areas of research are epistemology, metaphysics and philosophy of mind, and he has published widely in these areas. He is the author of Reading Epistemology (Blackwell, 2006), The Metaphysics of Memory (Springer, 2008), and is the editor of Knowledge (with Fred Dretske, Oxford University Press, 2000) and The Routledge Companion to Epistemology (with Duncan Pritchard, Routledge, 2010).

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