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Marking the Mind
A History of Memory

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  • Date Published: September 2008
  • availability: Temporarily unavailable - available from August 2019
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521726412


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About the Authors
  • Memory is one of the few psychological concepts with a truly ancient lineage. Presenting a history of the interrelated changes in memory tasks, memory technology and ideas about memory from antiquity to the late twentieth century, this book confronts psychology's 'short present' with its 'long past'. Kurt Danziger, one of the most influential historians of psychology of recent times, traces long-term continuities from ancient mnemonics and tools of inscription to modern memory experiments and computer storage. He explores historical discontinuities, showing how different kinds of memory became prominent at different times, and examines these changes in the context of specific themes including the question of truth in memory, distinctions between kinds of memory, the project of memory experimentation and the physical localization and conceptual location of memory. Daniziger's unique approach provides a historical perspective for understanding varieties of reproduction, narratives of the self and short-term memory.

    • The clarity and organisation makes it suitable for students of disciplines as different as history of science, neuroscience, and sociology
    • Bridges the gulf separating historical and psychological studies; draws on the work of historians to provide a broad background for developments in the science of memory
    • Challenges common assumptions and raises a host of new questions to consider
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    • Winner of the Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2009

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Building on his earlier seminal work on the history of psychological categories, Danziger's latest book will be the definitive text on the history of memory as a psychological category for years to come. Written with great clarity and scholarship, it will be of interest to anyone who wishes to enhance their understanding of those things we call memory and of how that term is used.' Alan Collins, Lancaster University

    'Against the conceit that the question of memory is a problem to be solved entirely along experimental or neurobiological lines, Danziger presents a brilliant exposition of what he calls the 'domestication of memory'. To remember is to be engaged in social practices with a host of cultural artifacts. An enthralling history of what different eras have taken to be the locus of memory; this work convincingly demonstrates that the history of theories of memory is not to be confused with the history of memory.' Henderikus J. Stam, University of Calgary

    'The book Marking the Mind: A History of Memory, provides a very interesting, readable , and concise account of how our conceptions of memory have developed over the ages. … While reading this book, one readily discovers how the development of psychology as an empirical science has resulted in separating the study of memory from any relationship to context or meaning. … this book has many implications for contemporary neuropsychological practice … the reader is often led to think creatively about the implications of what they are reading in this book. … challenging the dogma of many of our current approaches to this phenomenon. I recommend this book for those neuropsychologists who wish to proceed beyond the daily rigors of report writing and/or grant preparation and gain more of an understanding of the historical and theoretical origins of our work.' Journal of International Neuropsychological Society

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521726412
    • length: 320 pages
    • dimensions: 247 x 174 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.63kg
    • availability: Temporarily unavailable - available from August 2019
  • Table of Contents

    1. Does memory have a history?
    2. The rule of metaphor
    3. The cultivation of memory
    4. Privileged knowledge
    5. An experimental science of memory
    6. Memory kinds
    7. Truth in memory
    8. A place for memory
    9. Memory in its place.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Cultures and Histories of the Mind
    • History and Systems of Psychology
    • Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
    • Rhetorics of Memory and Memorial
  • Author

    Kurt Danziger, York University, Toronto
    Kurt Danziger is Professor Emeritus of York University, Canada and Honorary Professor of the University of Cape Town, South Africa.


    • Winner of the Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2009

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