Imperfect Ignorance

Arthur Cody in Inference Review:

ScreenHunter_2543 Jan. 28 22.33If we start from scratch, how might we make out the cognitive faculties? Do they present themselves to us as discrete operations of mind? Do they always merge together? Or do they appear in one context to be distinct from one another and commingled in another? The usual approach divides them into belief, memory, intention, hope, fear (of something), regret, and desire. This list is not exhaustive, but illustrative.

Marcel Proust’s concept of memory as the recollection of a past event will not do for every case. Sometimes we recall a moment from the past without wishing to, but at most other times memory serves to aid in understanding what is going on right now, what some person or community in these circumstances is likely to do, or where something misplaced might be found. Would recollection include the grammar and vocabulary of my language or the knowledge that I employ in speaking or writing? Is everything I have learned and everything I accept or act on, whether or not I compose it in my mind, remembered or the product of memory, and thus essentially dependent on memory?

Neither neuroscientists nor philosophers of mind grant or even suggest an affirmative reply to this question.

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