Epistemic Generation in Memory

Research paper by Jordi Fernández

Indexed on: 10 Mar '16Published on: 08 May '15Published in: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research


Does memory only preserve epistemic justification over time, or can memory also generate it? I argue that memory can generate justification based on a certain conception of mnemonic content. According to it, our memories represent themselves as originating on past perceptions of objective facts. If this conception of mnemonic content is correct, what we may believe on the basis of memory always includes something that we were not in a position to believe before we utilised that capacity. For that reason, memory can produce justification for belief through the process of remembering. This is why a subject may be justified in believing a proposition on the basis of memory even if, in the past, she was not justified in believing it through any other source. The resulting picture of memory is a picture wherein the epistemically generative role of memory turns out to be grounded on its intentionally generative role.