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Do you need an earlier perception to have a memory of something?

Do you need an earlier perception to have a memory of something?

Perhaps one might well claim that one has to have some prior experience ("experience" being broader than "perception") in order to have memory. One might remember prior thoughts, abstract propositions or a sensation rather than a full perception. Memory seems (by definition) to be about the past (I cannot remember the future, though I can remember that I believe or know that something will occur in the future) and so if there is no experience in the past to recall, it is hard to see how one might have any memory at all. In this sense, memory appears to be a dependent cognitive power --it depends on the exercise of other cognitive powers. I suppose someone might claim that they remember remembering, but this begs us to ask the question: remember remembering what?

While that is my proposal (one needs prior experience in order for memory to function), the issues can be stretched a bit... Imagine God or some super-scientist made a creature (Skippy) on Monday at noon full of ostensible memories of a past that Skippy had no part it. So, imagine Skippy recalls getting her Ph.D. at Brown, the rocky divorce and the happy re-marriage that followed, and yet Skippy did not do any of these things. While this might seem to be a case of memory without earlier experiences, I suspect we would classify these as only apparent or ostensible (or even false) memories and not cases of authentic memory.

Perhaps one might well claim that one has to have some prior experience ("experience" being broader than "perception") in order to have memory. One might remember prior thoughts, abstract propositions or a sensation rather than a full perception. Memory seems (by definition) to be about the past (I cannot remember the future, though I can remember that I believe or know that something will occur in the future) and so if there is no experience in the past to recall, it is hard to see how one might have any memory at all. In this sense, memory appears to be a dependent cognitive power --it depends on the exercise of other cognitive powers. I suppose someone might claim that they remember remembering, but this begs us to ask the question: remember remembering what? While that is my proposal (one needs prior experience in order for memory to function), the issues can be stretched a bit... Imagine God or some super-scientist made a creature (Skippy) on Monday at noon full of ostensible memories of a...

What is reality? Why cant we ever truly experience what is really out there

What is reality? Why cant we ever truly experience what is really out there since we are stuck behind our own perceptions created by our mind.

Interesting question! There are philosophers who would seek to undermine the whole picture of ourselves that is presupposed by your question. Some of them argue that we do make direct contact with the objects we touch, feel, smell, hear, and taste and that the idea that we only directly deal with sensations (or what is sometimes called "sense-data") is an illusion brought on by people like Descartes or, in the 20th century, by Bertrand Russell or A.J. Ayer. But I am inclined to think we do not directly feel and see what is around us; while I think we do (under normal circumstances) relaibly see and feel "what is really out there" this is mediated (in my view) by sensations, our visual field and so on. On this view, skepticism of an even very radical sort is conceivable. It is logically possible (I suggest) for the movie the Matrix to be right; we merely think we see what is really there, but we are being manipulated by complex computers to have the sensations we are having.

One other matter to consider: Your first question "What is reality?" has been at the heart of a great deal of philosophy historically. One of the important points that has been made is that when people worry whether they only face a world of appearance, they can at least be confident in the reality of appearances. Augustine used such reasoning in his reply to the skeptics of his day who seemed keen on doubting everything. Augustine countered that there are some things that cannot be doubted (the self, and appearances, among other things).

Interesting question! There are philosophers who would seek to undermine the whole picture of ourselves that is presupposed by your question. Some of them argue that we do make direct contact with the objects we touch, feel, smell, hear, and taste and that the idea that we only directly deal with sensations (or what is sometimes called "sense-data") is an illusion brought on by people like Descartes or, in the 20th century, by Bertrand Russell or A.J. Ayer. But I am inclined to think we do not directly feel and see what is around us; while I think we do (under normal circumstances) relaibly see and feel "what is really out there" this is mediated (in my view) by sensations, our visual field and so on. On this view, skepticism of an even very radical sort is conceivable. It is logically possible (I suggest) for the movie the Matrix to be right; we merely think we see what is really there, but we are being manipulated by complex computers to have the sensations we are having. One other matter...