Models of memory in cognitive science and philosophy have traditionally explained human remembering in terms of storage and retrieval. This tendency has been entrenched by reliance on computationalist explanations over the course of the twentieth century; even research programs that eschew computationalism in name, or attempt the revision of traditional models, demonstrate tacit commitment to computationalist assumptions. It is assumed that memory must be stored by means of an isomorphic trace, that memory processes must divide into conceptually distinct systems and phases, and that human remembering consists in inner, cognitive processes that are implemented by distinct neural processes. This dissertation draws on recent empirical work, and on philosophical arguments from Ludwig Wittgenstein and others, to demonstrate that this latent computationalism in the study of memory is problematic, and that it can and should be eliminated. Cognitive psychologists studying memory have encountered numerous data in recent decades that belie archival models. In cognitive neuroscience, establishing the neural basis of storage and retrieval processes has proven elusive. A number of revised models on offer in memory science, that have taken these issues into account, fail to sufficiently extricate the archival framework. Several impasses in memory science are products of these underlying computationalist assumptions. Wittgenstein and other philosophers offer a number of arguments against the need for, and the efficacy of, the storage and retrieval of traces in human remembering. A study of these arguments clarifies the ways that these computationalist assumptions are presently impeding the science of memory, and provides ways forward in removing them. We can and should characterize and model human memory without invoking the storage and retrieval of traces. A range of work in connectionism, dynamical systems theory, and recent philosophical accounts of memory demonstrate how the science of memory can proceed without these assumptions, toward non-archival models of remembering.
|Advisor:||Stern, David G.|
|Commitee:||Figdor, Carrie, Fumerton, Richard, Landini, Gregory, Perovic, Katarina|
|School:||The University of Iowa|
|School Location:||United States -- Iowa|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Philosophy of Science, Philosophy, Cognitive psychology|
|Keywords:||Cognitive processes, Explanatory models, Memory, Memory systems, Memory traces, Wittgenstein|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be