The Representative Theory
Our first questions are obvious. What precisely is memory? What is it to remember something? These philosophical questions need to be distinguished from the similar questions that might be asked by a psychologist or neurologist. There are problems about how memory operates, about what goes on in our body or brain when we remember, about what physical and psychological factors help or hinder our remembering, and so on. These are the concern of the scientist, who investigates the functioning of the human capacity we call memory. But our question is different; we are asking what memory is in itself, what that human capacity consists in, however it may operate. We want to explain not the mechanism of memory, but its nature; not how it works, but what it is. The question is, in effect, what it is that we are talking about when we talk about memory, as we all do, without knowing anything of the physical processes involved.
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