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Remembering dreams and dreaming of memories

IMC Tuesday Seminar: Talk by Melanie Rosen, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Trent University

Info about event


Tuesday 28 May 2024,  at 11:00 - 12:30


Jens Chr. Skous Vej 4, 8000 Aarhus C, building 1483, room 312 and online (https://aarhusuniversity.zoom.us/my/imcevent)


Interacting Minds Centre


What makes a dream memory genuine? We generally think that when we wake up, we remember having hallucinatory experiences in our sleep. But what is it that we are remembering? One skeptical view would be to say that dream memories are not memories at all but some other kind of mental state. Under the causal theory of memory, a mental state is a memory if there is a causal connection between the mental state and the remembered event. Experiences lay down memory traces in the brain, known as engrams, which are reactivated when remembering, known as ecphory. Dreams pose two problems for this view. Firstly, our waking memory of our dreams is very poor and prone to confabulation. Dreams themselves are mental states and it is not clear what we should say about these kind of memories as opposed to memories of events that occur in the world external to the mind.  Secondly, we have exceedingly poor access to our waking memories while we dream and yet dreams can play out waking experience. What should we say of such a dream when, unlike normal cases of memory, dreams allow you to relive events and these replayings are often experienced not as memories?  Dreams will be discussed in relation to the causalist and anticausalist debate  of memory.

About the speaker

Melanie Rosen, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Trent University

Free of charge - All are welcome