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Perceptual Imagination and Perceptual Memory$
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Fiona Macpherson and Fabian Dorsch

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198717881

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198717881.001.0001

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Memory, Imagination, and Narrative

Memory, Imagination, and Narrative

(p.72) 5 Memory, Imagination, and Narrative
Perceptual Imagination and Perceptual Memory

Dorothea Debus

Oxford University Press

Sometimes we experientially (or ‘recollectively’) remember, and sometimes we sensorily imagine things. Recollective memories (or ‘R-memories’) and sensory imaginations (or ‘S-imaginations’) characteristically correspond to our use of the distinct senses, and from the experiencing subject’s own point of view, S-imaginations and R-memories are phenomenologically rather similar. At the same time, however, R-memories and S-imaginations play very different roles in a subject’s mental life. How is this possible? How can subjects (rightly) treat those different kinds of mental episodes in relevantly different ways? This chapter is centred around the observation that R-memories (usually) have a characteristic relational property—they are ‘embedded’ in a context of relevant beliefs, on the basis of which a subject can tell a relevant story (or narrative)—which S-imaginations usually lack. With the help of this observation we can explain a subject’s ability to treat S-imaginations and R-memories in relevantly different ways.

Keywords:   memory, imagination, narrative, mental states, belief

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