Ways of Knowing- Memory

In my opinion, a memory is defined as recollection of past events that allow us to hold on to the thoughts, feelings and emotions that we love, hate, and never want to lose. The limitations of memory include-our thoughts, feelings and emotions may be false, and influenced by other memories we have of past experiences. Secondly, our memories are unreliable. The way we perceive an event in the past may be different to how someone else remembers it. It raises the question- to what extent can memory be trusted.

This video illustrates the idea of “the fiction of memory”. Loftus explores false memories, this occurs when people either remember things that didn’t happen or remember them differently from the way they really were. Loftus raises some important ethical questions we should all remember to consider. So, to what extent is memory a way of knowing? In my opinion, memory cannot be accurately described as a way of knowing as we have to take into account the weaknesses of memory itself, including confirmation bias, and selective memory.  Confirmation bias is the tendency for people to validate their hypothesis or reasoning, this bias causes them to retrieve and perceive their information selectively, leading to an unfair test, or an “unscientifically” proven theory. Selective memory is when we train our mind to only remember the details that we want to remember. This can be seen in examples where people have falsely accused other people of rape, and other crimes. Therefore, many people believe that it is unethical to use eye-witness testimony as a procedure to convict criminals, as they believe that memory and truth are not the same concept.

Although memory is initially based on knowledge, and  is the system that human beings use on a daily basis, there are many flaws in this system. I believe that memory is not evidence on its own, we need other valid proof before being able to convict a person.

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One Response to Ways of Knowing- Memory

  1. Great post – I like the way you have embedded the video – its good to combine your reflections with original resources and the views of other thinkers. Great

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