Is it possible to remember something that one has never directly experienced? Can I remember parts of a loved one’s life if I was not there with them? Our intellectual instincts immediately scream ‘No!’. It seems, at first blush, plainly absurd to say that one can remember something, having never had any sensory experience of the event in question. However, a more honest and personal investigation reveals that our previous desire to create a cut-and-dry definition of genuine remembering simply does not reflect the many ways we use and create memory in our everyday lives – most especially when remembering family and friends. By following my own personal story after the death of my grandfather, the philosopher Max Charlesworth, I hope to challenge our traditional epistemological definitions of memory by showing how – through indirect experiences via secondary sources – one can come to have genuine memories of loved ones, as well as highlighting why this is both beautiful and vitally important.
KeywordsMemory Max Charlesworth Aristotle Bertrand Russell Imagination
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