•  201
    Beyond the causal theory? Fifty years after Martin and Deutscher
    In Kourken Michaelian, Dorothea Debus & Denis Perrin (eds.), New Directions in the Philosophy of Memory, Routledge. pp. 13-32. 2018.
    It is natural to think of remembering in terms of causation: I can recall a recent dinner with a friend because I experienced that dinner. Some fifty years ago, Martin and Deutscher (1966) turned this basic thought into a full-fledged theory of memory, a theory that came to dominate the landscape in the philosophy of memory. Remembering, Martin and Deutscher argue, requires the existence of a specific sort of causal connection between the rememberer's original experience of an event and his late…Read more
  •  146
    No Nonsense Neuro-law
    Neuroethics 4 (3): 195-203. 2011.
    In Minds, Brains, and Norms , Pardo and Patterson deny that the activities of persons (knowledge, rule-following, interpretation) can be understood exclusively in terms of the brain, and thus conclude that neuroscience is irrelevant to the law, and to the conceptual and philosophical questions that arise in legal contexts. On their view, such appeals to neuroscience are an exercise in nonsense. We agree that understanding persons requires more than understanding brains, but we deny their pessimi…Read more
  •  55
    Philosophical Psychology 29 (3): 432-447. 2016.
    The Archival and Constructive views of memory offer contrasting characterizations of remembering and its relation to memory errors. I evaluate the descriptive adequacy of each by offering a close analysis of one of the most prominent experimental techniques by which memory errors are elicited—the Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm. Explaining the DRM effect requires appreciating it as a distinct form of memory error, which I refer to as misremembering. Misremembering is a memory error that relies…Read more
  •  55
    Representing the past: memory traces and the causal theory of memory
    Philosophical Studies 173 (11): 2993-3013. 2016.
    According to the Causal Theory of Memory, remembering a particular past event requires a causal connection between that event and its subsequent representation in memory, specifically, a connection sustained by a memory trace. The CTM is the default view of memory in contemporary philosophy, but debates persist over what the involved memory traces must be like. Martin and Deutscher argued that the CTM required memory traces to be structural analogues of past events. Bernecker and Michaelian, con…Read more
  •  33
    Confabulation and constructive memory
    Synthese 196 (6): 2135-2151. 2019.
    Confabulation is a symptom central to many psychiatric diagnoses and can be severely debilitating to those who exhibit the symptom. Theorists, scientists, and clinicians have an understandable interest in the nature of confabulation—pursuing ways to define, identify, treat, and perhaps even prevent this memory disorder. Appeals to confabulation as a clinical symptom rely on an account of memory’s function from which cases like the above can be contrasted. Accounting for confabulation is thus an …Read more
  •  27
    Optogenetics and the mechanism of false memory
    Synthese 193 (5): 1561-1583. 2016.
    Constructivists about memory argue that memory is a capacity for building representations of past events from a generalized information store. The view is motivated by the memory errors discovered in cognitive psychology. Little has been known about the neural mechanisms by which false memories are produced. Recently, using a method I call the Optogenetic False Memory Technique, neuroscientists have created false memories in mice. In this paper, I examine how Constructivism fares in light of O-F…Read more
  •  26
    Memory and Optogenetic Intervention: Separating the Engram from the Ecphory
    Philosophy of Science 85 (5): 1078-1089. 2018.
    Optogenetics makes possible the control of neural activity with light. In this paper, I explore how the development of this experimental tool has brought about methodological and theoretical advances in the neurobiological study of memory. I begin with Semon's distinction between the engram and the ecphory, explaining how these concepts present a methodological challenge to investigating memory. Optogenetics provides a way to intervene into the engram without the ecphory that, in turn, opens up …Read more
  •  25
    Contiguity and the causal theory of memory
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (1): 1-19. 2017.
    In Memory: A Philosophical Study, Bernecker argues for an account of contiguity. This Contiguity View is meant to solve relearning and prompting, wayward causation problems plaguing the causal theory of memory. I argue that Bernecker’s Contiguity View fails in this task. Contiguity is too weak to prevent relearning and too strong to allow prompting. These failures illustrate a problem inherent in accounts of memory causation. Relearning and prompting are both causal relations, wayward only with …Read more
  •  18
    Mnemonic Confabulation
    Topoi 1-12. forthcoming.
    Clinical use of the term “confabulation” began as a reference to false memories in dementia patients. The term has remained in circulation since, which belies shifts in its definition and scope over time. “Confabulation” now describes a range of disorders, deficits, and anomalous behaviors. The increasingly wide and varied use of this term has prompted many to ask: what is confabulation? In recent years, many have offered answers to this question. As a general rule, recent accounts are accounts …Read more
  •  16
    Confabulation and epistemic authority
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 41. 2018.
  •  15
    When formal literacy instruction begins, around the age of 5 or 6, children from families low in socioeconomic status tend to be less prepared than children from families of higher SES. The goal of our study is to explore one route through which SES may influence children's early literacy skills: informal conversations about letters. The study builds on previous studies of parent–child conversations that show how U. S. parents and their young children talk about writing and provide preliminary e…Read more
  •  12
    The Philosophy of Memory: Introduction
    Essays in Philosophy 19 (2). 2018.
  •  8
    This is the author's final draft. Copyright 2014 Elsevier.
  •  4
    In Defense of Vasubandhu's Approach to Episodic Phenomenology
    Australasian Philosophical Review 1 (4): 416-419. 2017.
    ABSTRACTGaneri [2018] explores three Buddhist approaches to episodic memory and concludes in favor of Buddhaghosa's attentional account. When comparing it to Vasubandhu's, Ganeri argues that Buddhaghosa's is preferable because it does not over-intellectualize episodic memory. In my commentary, I argue that the intellectualism of Vasubandhu's approach makes it both a more plausible account of episodic memory and a more successful strategy for addressing the precarious role of the self in this for…Read more