Segments in this Video

Forgetting to Be Me: Meet the Panelists (02:31)


Independent filmmaker David Malone frames the debate on whether memory is a fantasy and introduces University of Miami philosopher Mark Rowlands, Public Understanding of Philosophy Chair at Sheffield Angie Hobbs, and entrepreneur Margaret Heffernan.

Mark Rowlands: the Pitch (03:42)

Rowlands cites studies showing diverging accounts of a traumatic event, despite subject confidence in memory. Building memories requires protein synthesis.

Angie Hobbs: the Pitch (04:42)

Memory plays a crucial role in personal, cultural and community identity. Hobbs discusses Plato's theory that teaching is drawing out pre-existing material in students, rather than divulging new material.

Margaret Heffernan: the Pitch (03:55)

Heffernan discusses an experiment in which subjects have different memories of an image based on what they are comfortable with. We edit our experience to manage cognitive limits and to conform to others.

How do Memories Relate to Reality? (08:15)

Rowlands says the brain forms memories based on utility, rather than accuracy. Heffernan argues that memory is good enough to exist, but can be problematic when informing decision making. Hobbs discusses the role of desire in memory during different life stages.

Can We Trust Our Memories? (09:05)

Heffernan says vivid memories are emotionally significant but not necessarily accurate. Hobbs argues that accuracy only matters in certain contexts. Heffernan discusses research showing people who multitask have difficulty retrieving information. We are unconscious about editing our experience.

Can We Rethink Ourselves Without True Memory? (11:14)

Rowlands argues that the most important memories are not the ones we remember, but appear as emotions. Hobbs says what a person or community thinks they remember reveals how they see themselves. Heffernan discusses the editing experience and biological bias.

Credits: Forgetting to Be Me (00:24)

Credits: Forgetting to Be Me

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Memory forms the very fabric of our selves. Yet we forget vastly more than we remember, and we embellish until we no longer trust our own minds. Should we accept that true memory is a fantasy? Does this risk chaos in our courts or liberate us to think ourselves and our culture anew? The Panel Professor of Philosophy at the University of Miami Mark Rowlands, Chair for the Public Understanding of Philosophy at Sheffield Angie Hobbs and author of Willful Blindness Margaret Heffernan interrogate memory.

Length: 45 minutes

Item#: BVL145277

ISBN: 978-1-64347-143-3

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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