Attitudes and the (dis)continuity between memory and imagination
Keywords:memory, imagination, continuism, discontinuism, causal theory, simulation theory
The current dispute between causalists and simulationists in philosophy of memory has led to opposing attempts to characterize the relationship between memory and imagination. In a recent overview of this debate, Perrin and Michaelian (2017) have suggested that the dispute over the (dis)continuity between memory and imagination boils down to the question of whether a causal connection to a past event is necessary for remembering. By developing an argument based on an analogy to perception, I argue that this dispute should instead be viewed as a dispute about the nature of the attitudes involved in remembering and imagining. The focus on attitudes, rather than on causal connections, suggests a new way of conceiving of the relationship between memory and imagination that has been overlooked in recent philosophy of memory.
Addis, D. R. (2018). Are episodic memories special? on the sameness of remembered and imagined event simulation. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 48(2-3): 64–88. https://doi.org/10.1080/03036758.2018.1439071
Addis, D. R. (2020). Mental time travel? A neurocognitive model of event simulation. Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 11, 233–259. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13164-020-00470-0
Addis, D. R., Wong, A. T. & Schacter, D. L. (2007). Remembering the past and imagining the future: common and distinct neural substrates during event construction and elaboration. Neuropsychologia, 45(7), 1363–1377. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2006.10.016
Bernecker, S. (2010). Memory: a philosophical study. Oxford University Press.
Burge, T. (1991). Vision and intentional content. In E. Lepore & R. van Gulick (Eds.), John Searle and his critics (pp. 195–214). Blackwell.
Byrne, A. (2001). Intentionalism defended. Philosophical Review, 110(2), 199–240. https://doi.org/10.1215/00318108-110-2-199
Byrne, A. (2009). Experience and content. The Philosophical Quarterly, 59(236), 429–451. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9213.2009.614.x
Crane, T. (2009). Is perception a propositional attitude? The Philosophical Quarterly, 59(236), 452–469. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9213.2008.608.x
Currie, G. & Ravenscroft, I. (2002). Recreative minds: imagination in philosophy and psychology. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198238089.001.0001
De Brigard, F. (2014a). Is memory for remembering? Recollection as a form of episodic hypothetical thinking. Synthese, 191(2), 155–185. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-013-0247-7
De Brigard, F. (2014b). The nature of memory traces. Philosophy Compass, 9(6), 402–414. https://doi.org/10.1111/phc3.12133
De Brigard, F. (2017). Memory and imagination. In S. Bernecker & K. Michaelian (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Memory (pp. 127–140). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315687315-11
De Brigard, F. & Gessell, B. (2016). Time is not of the essence: Understanding the neural correlates of mental time travel. In K. Michaelian, S. B. Klein & K. K. Szpunar (Eds.), Seeing the future: theoretical perspectives on future-oriented mental time travel (pp. 153–179). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190241537.003.0008
Debus, D. (2008). Experiencing the past: a relational account of recollective memory. Dialéctica, 62(4), 405–432. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1746-8361.2008.01165.x
Debus, D. (2010). Accounting for epistemic relevance: a new problem for the causal theory of memory. American Philosophical Quarterly, 47(1), 17–29.
Debus, D. (2014). ‘Mental time travel’: remembering the past, imagining the future, and the particularity of events. Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 5(3), 333–350. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13164-014-0182-7
Dokic, J. (2001). Is memory purely preservative? In C. Hoerl & T. McCormack (Eds.), Time and memory: issues in philosophy and psychology (pp. 213–232). Oxford University Press.
Dokic, J. (2014). Feeling the past: a two-tiered account of episodic memory. Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 5(3), 413–426. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13164-014-0183-6
Fernández, J. (2018). The functional character of memory. In K. Michaelian, D. Debus & D. Perrin (Eds.), New Directions in the Philosophy of Memory (pp. 52–72). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315159591-4
Fernández, J. (2019). Memory: a self-Referential account. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190073008.001.0001
Fodor, J. (1978). Propositional attitudes. The Monist, 61(4), 501-523. https://doi.org/10.5840/monist197861444
Frise, M. (2015). Epistemology of memory. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. https://iep.utm.edu/
Hazlett, A. (2010). The myth of factive verbs. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 80(3),497–522. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1933-1592.2010.00338.x
Hopkins, R. (2018). Imagining the past: on the nature of episodic memory. In F. MacPherson & F. Dorsch (Ed.), Perceptual Imagination and Perceptual Memory. Oxford University Press.
Hutto, D. D. & Myin, E. (2017). Evolving enactivism: basic minds meet content. MIT Press. https://doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/9780262036115.001.0001
Langland-Hassan, P. (2015). Imaginative attitudes. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 90(3), 664–686. https://doi.org/10.1111/phpr.12115
Langland-Hassan, P. (2021). What sort of imagining might remembering be? Journal of the American Philosophical Association, 7(2), 231-51.
Liao, S.-Y. & Gendler, T. (2019). Imagination. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University.
Mahr, J. B. (2020). The dimensions of episodic simulation. Cognition, 196, 104085. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2019.104085
Mahr, J. B. & Csibra, G. (2018). Why do we remember? The communicative function of episodic memory. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 41. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X17000012
Martin, C. B. & Deutscher, M. (1966). Remembering. Philosophical Review, 75(2), 161–96. https:// doi.org/10.2307/2183082
Michaelian, K. (2011). Generative memory. Philosophical Psychology, 24(3), 323–342. https:// doi.org/10.1080/09515089.2011.559623
Michaelian, K. (2016a). Against discontinuism: mental time travel and our knowledge of past and future events. In K. Michaelian, S. B. Klein & K. K. Szpunar (Eds.), Seeing the future: theoretical perspectives on future-oriented mental time travel (pp. 62–92). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190241537.003.0004
Michaelian, K. (2016b). Mental time travel: episodic memory and our knowledge of the personal past. MIT Press. https://doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/10591.001.0001
Michaelian, K., Perrin, D. & Sant’Anna, A. (2020). Continuities and discontinuities between imagination and memory: the view from philosophy. In A. Abraham (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of imagination. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108580298.019
Michaelian, K. & Robins, S. K. (2018). Beyond the causal theory? Fifty years after Martin and Deutscher. In K. Michaelian, D. Debus, & D. Perrin (Ed.), New directions in the philosophy of memory (pp. 13–32). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315159591-2
Munro, D. (2020). Remembering the past and imagining the actual. Review of Philosophy and Psychology. Online ahead of print. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13164-020-00499-1
Nanay, B. (2015). Perceptual content and the content of mental imagery. Philosophical Studies, 172(7), 1723–1736. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11098-014-0392-y
Perner, J. & Ruffman, T. (1995). Episodic memory and autonoetic aonciousness: developmental evidence and a theory of childhood amnesia. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 59, 516–548. https://doi.org/10.1006/jecp.1995.1024
Perrin, D. (2016). Asymmetries in subjective time. In K. Michaelian, S. B. Klein & K. K Szpunar, (Eds.), Seeing the future: theoretical perspectives on future-oriented mental time travel (pp. 39–61). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:o so/9780190241537.003.0003
Perrin, D. & Michaelian, K. (2017). Memory as mental time travel. In S. Bernecker & K. Michaelian (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of philosophy of memory (pp. 228–239). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315687315-19
Perrin, D., Michaelian, K. & Sant’Anna, A. (2020). The phenomenology of remembering is an epistemic feeling. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 1531. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01531
Robins, S. K. (2016). Representing the past: memory traces and the causal theory of memory. Philosophical Studies, 173(11), 2993–3013. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11098-016-0647-x
Robins, S. K. (2017). Memory traces. In S. Bernecker & K. Michaelian (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of philosophy of memory (pp. 76–87). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315687315-7
Robins, S. K. (2020). Defending discontinuism, naturally. Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 11, 469–486. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13164-020-00462-0
Sant’Anna, A. (2020). The hybrid contents of memory. Synthese 197, 1263–1290. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-018-1753-4
Sant’Anna, A., Michaelian, D. & Perrin, D. (2020). Editorial: memory as mental time travel. Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 11, 223–232. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13164-020-00484-8
Schacter, D. L., Addis, D. R. & Buckner, R. L. (2007). Remembering the past to imagine the future: the prospective brain. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 8(9), 657–661. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn2213
Schacter, D. L., Addis, D. R., Hassabis, D., Martin, V. C., Spreng, R. N. & Szpunar, K. K. (2012). The future of memory: remembering, imagining, and the brain. Neuron, 76(4), 677–694. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2012.11.001
Schellenberg, S. (2010). The particularity and phenomenology of perceptual experience. Philosophical Studies, 149(1), 19–48. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11098-010-9540-1
Schellenberg, S. (2018). The unity of perception: content, consciousness, evidence. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198827702.001.0001
Searle, J. R. (1983). Intentionality: an essay in the philosophy of mind. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139173452
Shanton, K. & Goldman, A. (2010). Simulation theory. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews, Cognitive Science, 1(4), 527–538. https://doi.org/10.1002/wcs.33
Siegel, S. (2010). The contents of visual experiences. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195305296.003.0002
Soteriou, M. (2000). The particularity of visual experience. European Journal of Philosophy, 8(2), 173–89. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-0378.00107
Sutton, J. (1998). Philosophy and memory traces: Descartes to connectionism. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8721.ep10770899
Tulving, E. (1993). What is episodic memory? Current Directions in Psychological Science, 2(3), 67–70. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.53.100901.135114
Tulving, E. (2002). Episodic memory: from mind to brain. Annual Review of Psychology, 53(1), 1–25. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195161564.003.0001
Tulving, E. (2005). Episodic memory and autonoesis: uniquely human? In H. S. Terrace & J. Metcalfe (Eds.), The missing link in cognition: origins of self-reflective consciousness (pp. 3–56). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/2110.001.0001
Tye, M. (2000). Consciousness, color, and content. MIT Pres.
Van Leeuwen, N. (2013). The meanings of “imagine”, part 1: constructive imagining. Philosophy Compass, 8, 220–230. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-9991.2012.00508.x
Werning, M. (2020). Predicting the past from minimal traces: episodic memory and its distinction from imagination and preservation. Review of philosophy and psychology, 11, 301-333. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13164-020-00471-z
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 André Sant'Anna
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
1. The Author retains copyright in the Work, where the term "Work" shall include all digital objects that may result in subsequent electronic publication or distribution.
2. Upon acceptance of the Work, the author shall grant to the Publisher the right of first publication of the Work.
3. The Author shall grant to the Publisher a nonexclusive perpetual right and license to publish, archive, and make accessible the Work in whole or in part in all forms of media now or hereafter known under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoCommercia-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0), or its equivalent, which, for the avoidance of doubt, allows others to copy, distribute, and transmit the Work under the following conditions: (a) Attribution: Other users must attribute the Work in the manner specified by the author as indicated on the journal Web site;(b) Noncommercial: Other users (including Publisher) may not use this Work for commercial purposes;
4. The Author is able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the nonexclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the Work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), as long as there is provided in the document an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal;
5. Authors are permitted, and Estudios de Filosofía promotes, to post online the preprint manuscript of the Work in institutional repositories or on their Websites prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (see The Effect of Open Access). Any such posting made before acceptance and publication of the Work is expected be updated upon publication to include a reference to the Estudios de Filosofía's assigned URL to the Article and its final published version in Estudios de Filosofía.