JBSP Online: Patrick Eldridge on Husserl’s Account of the Distortions of Memory

journal update

Patrick Eldridge’s essay for the Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology, published online in advance of the paper edition.

Patrick Eldridge – ‘False Remembrance: Husserl’s Account of the Distortions of Memory’: JBSP (Originally published online: 22 March 2020).

Abstract: This article demonstrates why Husserl struggled to understand the conditions of possibility of false memory, and how only the genetic dimension of his phenomenology enabled him to conceive of a specifically mnemic form of falsehood. For a false memory to deceive us, we must trust that it is true, but in order to have a phenomenology of its falsehood, the memory must appear as false. Husserl’s theory of false memory responds to both of these demands by showing how distorting syntheses (repression, filling-in, re-touching) conceal themselves, without making it impossible to discover their distorting effects. Key to meeting these two demands is Husserl’s account of how the unconscious functions as the “untrue” basis of memory, and how all recollections (both true and false) require affective, associative syntheses between present conscious experience and past unconscious experience, syntheses that are subject to many vicissitudes.

Full article: https://doi.org/10.1080/00071773.2020.1741782

Patrick Eldridge, Department of Humanities & Languages, University of New Brunswick, Saint John, Canada

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Reminder: The call for papers is now open for the British Society for Phenomenology’s 2020 Annual Conference: ‘Engaged Phenomenology’, co-sponsored with Egenis at the University of Exeter and the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health. The conference is to be held in Exeter, UK, from Thursday 3 – Saturday 5 September 2020.  For more details – including keynote speakers – see the BSP 2020 annual conference homepage. Also see our events and coronavirus updates.