The Experience of Being Oneself in Memory: Exploring Sense of Identity via Observer Memory

Ying Tung Lin*


研究成果: Article同行評審

3 引文 斯高帕斯(Scopus)


Every episodic memory entails a sense of identity, which allows us to mentally travel through time. There is a special way by which the subject who is remembering comes into contact with the self that is embedded in the episodic simulation of memory: we can directly and robustly experience the protagonist in memory as ourselves. This paper explores what constitutes such experience in memory. On the face of it, the issue may seem trivial: of course, we are able to entertain a sense of identity—the experience of our recollection structurally resembles our perception of the original event. However, given the phenomenon of observer memory, in which our visual perspective is decoupled from our embodied dimension, it is unclear whether it is the observing or the embodied one that is identified. This phenomenon is important not only in illustrating the complexity of identification but also in assessing how best to address it. In this paper, the issue is analyzed through concepts introduced from the literature on bodily self-consciousness. The potential approaches to addressing the issue of identification are examined, including the inheritance view, according to which the identification relies on the inheritance of mnemonic content from the original experience. I propose and argue for the self-simulation view, which suggests that what results in the experience of “I am this” in memory is the observing and the embodied dimensions as well as the relation between them, which enable different ways of projecting oneself into an episodic simulation.

頁(從 - 到)405-422
期刊Review of Philosophy and Psychology
出版狀態Published - 1 6月 2020


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