Knowledge and Understanding Seminar
Speaker: Christoph Hoerl (Warwick)
Title: 'Episodic Memory and Knowledge'
Abstract: According to Locke, memory is the power of the mind "to revive perceptions which it once had, with this additional perception annexed to them, that it has had them before". I will refer to theories that fit Locke's general description as 'two-factor theories' of memory, and I will assume that they are meant specifically to provide an account of episodic memory. Such two-factories have been very popular historically, and they have seen a resurgence in recent years, because they are seen to be in line with certain empirical findings about the neural structures underpinning episodic memory. I will sketch a number of problems facing two-factor theories of episodic memory, and suggest that they have a common root, which is that the concept of knowledge is absent from the account two factor theories give of episodic memory. An account that instead puts centre stage the idea that episodic memory involves the retention of a certain type of knowledge can avoid the problems that two-factor theories of episodic memory face.