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Why episodic memory may not be for communication

  • Felipe De Brigard (a1) (a2) (a3) (a4) and Bryce Gessell (a1)

Three serious challenges to Mahr & Csibra's (M&C's) proposal are presented. First, we argue that the epistemic attitude that they claim is unique to remembering also applies to some forms of imaginative simulations that aren't memories. Second, we argue that their account cannot accommodate critical neuropsychological evidence. Finally, we argue that their proposal looks unconvincing when compared to more parsimonious evolutionary accounts.

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De Brigard, F. (2014a) Is memory for remembering? Recollection as a form of episodic hypothetical thinking. Synthese 191(2):155–85. Available at:
De Brigard, F., Addis, D., Ford, J. H., Schacter, D. L. & Giovanello, K. S. (2013) Remembering what could have happened: Neural correlates of episodic counterfactual thinking. Neuropsychologia 51(12):2401–14.
De Brigard, F. & Giovanello, K. S. (2012) Influence of outcome valence in the subjective experience of episodic past, future and counterfactual thinking. Consciousness and Cognition 21(3):1085–96.
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Williamson, T. (2007) Philosophical knowledge and knowledge of counterfactuals. Grazer Philosophische Studien 74:89123.
Williamson, T. (2016) Knowing by imagining. In: Knowledge through imagination, ed. Kind, A. & Kung, P., pp. 113–23. Oxford University Press.
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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
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