Is Episodic Memory a Natural Kind? - A Defense of the Sequence Analysis

Markus WerningRuhr University Bochum
Sen ChengRuhr University Bochum

Abstract

Colloquially, episodic memory is described as "the memory of personally experienced events". Here we ask how episodic memory should be characterized in order to be validated as a natural kind. We propose to conceive of episodic memory as a knowledge-like state that is identified with an experientially based mnemonic representation of an episode. We discuss selected experimental results that provide exemplary evidence for uniform causal mechanisms underlying the properties of episodic memory and argue that episodic memory is a natural kind. The argumentation proceeds along two cornerstones: First, empirical results support the claim that the principal anatomical substrate of episodic memory is the hippocampus. Second, we can pin down causal mechanisms onto neural activities in the hippocampus to explain the psychological states and processes constituting episodic memory.

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Is Episodic Memory a Natural Kind? - A Defense of the Sequence Analysis (407 KB)



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