(In defence of) preservationism and the previous awareness condition: What is a theory of remembering, anyway?
James Openshaw (Centre for Philosophy of Memory, Université Grenoble Alpes, Ruhr-Universität Bochum)

January 27, 2023, 4:00pm - 5:00pm

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Federal University of Santa Maria
Federal University of Santa Maria

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The Philosophy of Memory Lab (Mem-Lab), together with the Graduate Program in Philosophy at UFSM, invites the academic community to the lecture "(In defence of) preservationism and the previous awareness condition: What is a theory of remembering, anyway?", to be presented by James Openshaw of the Center for Philosophy of Memory from the Universitè Grenoble Alps (UGA), on January 27 at 4pm (GMT-3), via Google Meet. Registration and attendance at the event are required for a participation certificate. Registration can be made through the link bit.ly/mem-theory.


I suggest that the theories of ‘remembering’ one finds in the philosophy of memory literature are best characterised as theories of at least three distinct mnemic phenomena. Simulationist views are theories of psychofunctional process types. Causalist views are theories of referential remembering. Epistemic views are theories of successful remembering. Insofar as there is conflict between these theories, it is a conflict of integration rather than (as widely presented) head-on disagreement. Viewed in this way, we can see the previous awareness condition and preservationism as principles concerning only some of the corresponding mnemic phenomena. Where either principle has been rejected, it is, I argue, only by having lost sight of these different levels of theorising. While the view of the landscape I offer does not dissolve ongoing disputes about the nature of remembering, it clarifies the dialectical rules of engagement, helping to clear the path for future, collaborative progress to be made. The view enables us to see less conflict in the recent philosophy of memory literature than there seems at face value to be.

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January 26, 2023, 5:00pm UTC

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