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Memory and mineness in personal identity

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Stanley Klein and Shaun Nichols (2012) describe the case of patient R.B., whose memories (they claim) lacked the sense of “mineness” usually conveyed by memory. Klein and Nichols take R.B.’s case to show that the sense of mineness is merely a contingent feature of memory, which they see as raising two problems for memory-based accounts of personal identity. First, they see it as potentially undermining the appeal of memory-based accounts. Second, they take it to show that the conception of quasi-memory that underpins many memory-based accounts is inadequate. I argue that Klein and Nichols’ characterization of R.B.’s experience is implausible; as a result, the problems that they describe for memory-based accounts of personal identity do not arise.
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Keywords: Experimental philosophy; memory; personal identity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey, UK

Publication date: May 18, 2016

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