Memory: A Self-Referential Account

A workshop on Jordi Fernández' forthcoming book, Memory: A Self-Referential Account, will be held on 28-29 June 2019, just prior to Issues in Philosophy of Memory 2.

In this book, Jordi Fernández offers a philosophical account of memory. Memory is remarkably interesting from a philosophical point of view. Memories interact with mental states of other types in a characteristic way. They also have some associated feelings that other mental states lack. Memories are special in terms of their representational capacity too, since one can have memories of objective events, and one can have memories of one's own past experiences. Finally, memories are epistemically special, in that beliefs formed on the basis of memories are protected from certain errors of misidentification, and justified in a way which does not rely on any cognitive capacity other than memory.

The aim of the book is to explain these features of memory. Fernández proposes that memories have a particular functional role which involves past perceptual experiences and beliefs about the past. He suggests that memories have a particular content as well. They represent themselves as having a certain causal origin. Fernández then accounts for the feelings associated with our memories as the experience of some of the things that our memories represent; things such as our own past experiences, or the fact the memories originate in those experiences. He also accounts for the special justification for belief afforded by our memories in terms of the content that memories have. The resulting picture is a unified account of several philosophically interesting aspects of memory.

Participants TBA.