Dismantling the Memory Machine

A Philosophical Investigation of Machine Theories of Memory

  • Authors
  • Howard Alexander Bursen

Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 128)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. The Trace Theory of Memory

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Howard Alexander Bursen
      Pages 3-18
    3. Howard Alexander Bursen
      Pages 19-47
  3. Broadening the Attack

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 49-51
    2. Howard Alexander Bursen
      Pages 52-60
  4. Trace Theory as Philosophy

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 105-105
    2. Howard Alexander Bursen
      Pages 107-151
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 152-168

About this book


The subject of the following study is theories of memory. The first part is a study of one broad type of theory which is very widely adhered to at this time. It enjoys great popularity among neuro­ physiologists, neuropsychologists, and, more generally, among scientifically oriented people who have directed their attention to questions about memory. Further, this way of looking at the matter is not confined to scientific professionals. Indeed, we can find popularized versions of the view in magazines like Time and Reader's Digest. So in the first part of the book, I will give a presentation of the view in its general form. The theory will be presented in such a way as to reveal the features which make it tempting, which make it seem to be a very natural way to explain the phenomena of memory. (And, clearly, from the number of adherents the view has won, it is tempting, and it does seem to be to go about explaining memory. ) After setting forth a natural way this generalized version of the theory, I will next present material by various authors who hold this view. This will allow the reader to get some idea of the different forms which the theory (the 'memory trace' or 'engram' theory) takes. The last step is a critic­ ism of the theory. In the second part of the book, the attack on trace theory will be strengthened by a further criticism.


computer memory philosophy subject

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1978
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-94-009-9887-2
  • Online ISBN 978-94-009-9885-8
  • Buy this book on publisher's site