Mental time travel and the philosophy of memory

André Sant'Anna


The idea that episodic memory is a form of mental time travel has played an important role in the development of memory research in the last couple of decades. Despite its growing importance in psychology, philosophers have only begun to develop an interest in philosophical questions pertaining to the relationship between memory and mental time travel. Thus, this paper proposes a more systematic discussion of the relationship between memory and mental time travel from the point of view of philosophy. I start by discussing some of the motivations to take memory to be a form of mental time travel. I call the resulting view of memory the mental time travel view. I then proceed to consider important philosophical questions pertaining to memory and develop them in the context of the mental time travel view. I conclude by suggesting that the intersection of the philosophy of memory and research on mental time travel not only provides new perspectives to think about traditional philosophical questions, but also new questions that have not been explored before.

Keywords: mental time travel, memory, episodic memory, philosophy of memory.

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ISSN: 1984-8234 - Best viewed in Mozilla Firefox

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License [Updated on September 23, 2016].

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