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Autonoesis and the Galilean science of memory: Explanation, idealization, and the role of crucial data

Andonovski, Nikola (2023) Autonoesis and the Galilean science of memory: Explanation, idealization, and the role of crucial data. [Preprint]

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Abstract

The Galilean explanatory style is characterized by the search for the underlying structure of phenomena, the positing of "deep" explanatory principles, and a view of the relation between theory and data, on which the search for "crucial data" is of primary importance. In this paper, I trace the dynamics of adopting the Galilean style, focusing on the science of episodic memory. I argue that memory systems, such as episodic and semantic memory, were posited as underlying competences producing the observable phenomena of memory. Considered in idealized isolation from other systems, episodic memory was taken to underlay the ability of individuals to remember events from their personal past. Yet, in reality, memory systems regularly interact, standing in many-to-many relations to actual memory tasks and experiences. Upon this backdrop, I explore a puzzle about the increasing prominence of the notion of autonoetic consciousness in Tulving's theory of episodic memory. I argue that, contrary to widespread belief, the
prominence is not best explained by the purported essential link between autonoetic consciousness and episodic
memory. Rather, it is explained by the fact that autonoetic consciousness, hypothesized to uniquely accompany
episodic retrieval, was considered a source of crucial data, predictable only from theories positing a functionally
distinct episodic memory system. However, with the emergence of a new generation of theories, positing wider memory systems for remembering and imagination, the question of the relation between episodic memory and autonoetic consciousness has been reopened. This creates a pressing need for de-idealization, triggering a new search for crucial data.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Andonovski, Nikolani.andonovski@gmail.com0000-0001-6957-0261
Keywords: memory systems; episodic memory; autonoetic consciousness; Galilean explanatory style; idealization; crucial data
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Learning and Memory
Depositing User: Dr. Nikola Andonovski
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2023 13:56
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2023 13:56
Item ID: 22446
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Learning and Memory
Date: 2023
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/22446

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