Remembering beliefs

Devitt, Susannah K. (2008) Remembering beliefs. In Proceedings of the 30th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Erlbaum Associates, Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington D.C.

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Optimal decision-making requires us to accurately pinpoint the basis of our thoughts, e.g. whether they originate from our memory or our imagination. This paper argues that the phenomenal qualities of our subjective experience provide permissible evidence to revise beliefs, particularly as it pertains to memory. I look to the source monitoring literature to reconcile circumstances where mnemic beliefs and mnemic qualia conflict. By separating the experience of remembering from biological facts of memory, unusual cases make sense, such as memory qualia without memory (e.g. déjà vu, false memories) or a failure to have memory qualia with memory (e.g. functional amnesia, unintentional plagiarism). I argue that a pragmatic, probabilistic approach to belief revision is a way to rationally incorporate information from conscious experience, whilst acknowledging its inherent difficulties as an epistemic source. I conclude with a Bayesian defense of source monitoring based on C.I. Lewis’ coherence argument for memorial knowledge.

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ID Code: 38128
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: memory, remembering, belief, source monitoring, Bayesian, Bayesian rationality, Decision-making, Self-knowledge, Qualia
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > COGNITIVE SCIENCE (170200) > Decision Making (170202)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000) > PHILOSOPHY (220300) > Philosophy of Cognition (220312)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Division of Technology, Information and Library Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 Susannah Kate Devitt
Deposited On: 24 Oct 2010 22:14
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2017 04:27

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