Clark And Chalmers Theory Of Memory

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In response to this identity theory of memory, philosophers Clark and Chalmers proposed a theory of memory that holds that memory is a kind of mental storage similar to a notebook. According to Clark and Chalmers, facts are recorded in the minds just as facts can be recorded in a notebook. As such, memory is a storage of ideas and experiences that can be called upon by the mind to be used in our day-to-day cognition.
To illustrate this, Clark and Chalmers compare two examples of memory. In the first example, Inga is a typical person who heard from a friend that there is a new art museum opening, and she wants to go see it. After deciding to go, Inga thinks for a moment and remembers that the museum was on 53rd Avenue. Since she believed this
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The primary advantage of this account is that it is the first account to account for mental content. Unlike the psychologist who claims that memory is the manifestation of behavior or the neuroscientist who would claim that memory is a brain state that is synonymous with synaptic activity, Clark and Chalmers acknowledge that memories have actual mental content. Despite this, the notebook analogy fails in many ways. As the psychologist would point out, the notebook does not account for long/short term memories and memory decay. Likewise, the neuroscientist would argue that the notebook may be functionally equivalent to the encoding and recall function of memory, but fails to account for the physiological processes that correlate to memory having behavior. Any accurate account of memory should to take into account contemporary neuroscience and attempt to explain the correlation between memory’s phenomenal and physical …show more content…
Memory is much more than behavior or brain states and the analogy of memory as a notebook fails to account for qualia and intentionality in our memories. Though far from a perfect theory, I propose that memory is an epiphenomenal by product of the physical processes of encoding, storage, and retrieval processes that involve synaptic pathways in the mind. As such, memory can be seen as analogous to a record player that imperfectly reads and writes records. Although my analogy is imperfect, my theory of memory as an epiphenomenal record player serves to motivate the discussion of memory in the philosophy of mind and to encourage more discussion concerning this underdeveloped aspect of our mental

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