EMOTION, EXPERIENTIAL MEMORY AND SELFHOOD
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Recently, emotion has attracted much attention in many areas of philosophy. In the philosophy of mind, some argue that emotions are individuated and identified with reference to feelings, beliefs, desires, or perceptions. Furthermore, they are often claimed to be changeable, unstable, and ambivalent. However, despite their instability, emotions are sometimes long-standing. They have, in addition, perspective. These characteristics of the emotions help us in solving one of philosophy’s most enduring problems, that is, the problem of personal identity. In order to illustrate this claim the author elaborates on the conception of ‘experiential memory’ suggested by Wollheim. To understand memory as experiential, we need to understand the affective element attached to some memories. The author argues that memory affects not only our past thought but also our past emotions, and those emotions deriving from the past stay on to affect our whole being and our future. Hence, the experiential memory is not just confined to the recalling of events or experiences that the subject has experienced, but concerns the narrative structure of a person’s life as a whole.
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