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Personal Identity and the Coherence of Q-Memory

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Brian Garrett constructs cases satisfying Andy Hamilton’s definition of weak q-memory. This does not establish that a peculiar kind of memory is at least conceptually coherent. Any ‘apparent memory experiences’ that satisfy the definition turn out not to involve remembering anything at all. This conclusion follows if we accept, as both Hamilton and Garrett do, a variety of first-person authority according to which memory judgements may be false, but not on the ground that someone other than the remembering subject had the remembered experience. Garrett’s brain-bisection illustration sounds convincing, but only because we retain the idea that the subjects created by implanting a hemisphere each in two different bodies are entitled to say that they remember experiences before the surgery in the ordinary sense. To that extent the illustration presents a case of ordinary memory, not q-memory.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: City University of New York, USA

Publication date: 1997-01-01

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