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Does Memory Equal Consciousness

In this episode, we discussed the relationship between consciousness and memory; whether consciousness can be described purely by memory, and how memory contributes to our personal identity.

"Life is all memory, except for the present moment that goes by you so quick you hardly catch it going." - Tennessee Williams

Libet's experiments famously demonstrate that neural activity precedes conscious awareness and action.


A summary of the experiments: “Readiness Potential and Neuronal Determinism: New Insights on Libet Experiment” Karim Fifel (2018) https://www.jneurosci.org/content/38/4/784#:~:text=during%20the%20experiment.-,Libet%20et%20al.,550%20ms%20before%20the%20movement.


This calls into question what the purpose of consciousness is.


It can be argued that consciousness developed over time as part of a memory system: “Consciousness as a Memory System” Budson et al. (2022) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36178498/


Why are consciousness and memory inherently intertwined?


An opinion piece on the topic: “Seeing consciousness through the lens of memory” Joseph Le Doux and Hakwan Lau (2020) Seeing consciousness through the lens of memory - PubMed (nih.gov)


How does memory relate to personal identity? Is personal identity down to psychological continuity, and does this implicate the importance of memory?


“John Locke on Personal Identity” Namita Nimbalkar (2011)


“Reid on Memory and Personal Identity” (2018) https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/reid-memory-identity/


“Parfit, the Reductionist View, and Moral Commitment” Daniel E. Palmer https://www.bu.edu/wcp/Papers/PPer/PPerPalm.htm



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