Institut Jean Nicod

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Sara Packalen (Stockholm University, IJN), "Episodic memory and imagination"


Date, Time, Place: 21/06/2013, 5pm, Salle de Réunion du Pavillon Jardin, Institut Nicod, ENS, 29, rue d'Ulm 75005 Paris

Title : Episodic memory and imagination

Sara Packalén (Stockholm University/IJN), joint work with Emma Wallin (Stockholm University)

Abstract : The talk addresses the relationship between episodic memory and other kinds of experiential representation, in particular imagination. Episodic memory and (imagistic) imagination involves the same kind of inner representation. The only difference seems to be that memories, unlike imaginations, are about the past. A straightforward explanation of this is obtained if we assume that episodic memory is simply a kind of imagination, with the distinctive trait of being causally dependent on past experiences in an appropriate way. We consider a weak and a strong interpretation of this claim, and argue against both. Although it has some appeal, the view that episodic memory is a subcategory of imagination is ultimately mistaken. Imagination and episodic memory have some features in common, but episodic memory is not imagination.