[SydPhil] UOW Philosophy Research Presents (Dr. Richard Heersmink, Macquarie)

michael kirchhoff michael.david.kirchhoff at gmail.com
Fri Sep 22 07:37:45 AEST 2017

*UOW Philosophy Research Presents: *

*The Narrative Self, Distributed Memory, and Evocative Objects*

Speaker: Dr. Richard Heersmink (Macquarie)

Date: 27 September 2017

Time: 15.30-16.45

Venue: 19.2072 (Research Hub)

Aimed at staff and postgraduates, but open to all.

*Abstract*: In this talk, I outline various ways in which artifacts are
interwoven with autobiographical memory systems and conceptualize what this
implies for the self. I first sketch the narrative approach to the self,
arguing that who we are as persons is essentially our (unfolding) life
story, which, in turn, determines our present beliefs and desires, but also
directs our future goals and actions. I then argue that our
autobiographical memory is partly anchored in our embodied interactions
with an ecology of artifacts in our environment. Lifelogs, photos, videos,
journals, diaries, souvenirs, jewelry, books, works of art, and many other
meaningful objects trigger and sometimes constitute emotionally-laden
autobiographical memories. Autobiographical memory is thus distributed
across embodied agents and various environmental structures. To defend this
claim, I draw on and integrate distributed cognition theory and empirical
research in human-technology interaction. Based on this, I conclude that
the self is neither defined by psychological states realized by the brain
nor by biological states realized by the organism, but should be seen as a
distributed and relational construct.

Best wishes

*Dr. Michael D. Kirchhoff *
Lecturer in Philosophy
School of Humanities and Social Enquiry
Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts
University of Wollongong NSW 2522
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