Memory occupies a fundamental place in philosophy, playing a central role not only in the history of philosophy but also in philosophy of mind, epistemology, and ethics. Yet the philosophy of memory has only recently emerged as an area of study and research in its own right.

The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Memory is an outstanding reference source on the key topics, problems, and debates in this exciting area, and is the first philosophical collection of its kind. The forty-eight chapters are written by an international team of contributors, and divided into nine parts:

  • The nature of memory
  • The metaphysics of memory
  • Memory, mind, and meaning
  • Memory and the self
  • Memory and time
  • The social dimension of memory
  • The epistemology of memory
  • Memory and morality
  • History of philosophy of memory.

Within these sections, central topics and problems are examined, including: truth, consciousness, imagination, emotion, self-knowledge, narrative, personal identity, time, collective and social memory, internalism and externalism, and the ethics of memory. The final part examines figures in the history of philosophy, including Aristotle, Augustine, Freud, Bergson, Wittgenstein, and Heidegger, as well as perspectives on memory in Indian and Chinese philosophy.

Essential reading for students and researchers in philosophy, particularly philosophy of mind and psychology, the Handbook will also be of interest to those in related fields, such as psychology and anthropology.

chapter |3 pages

Editors’ introduction

The philosophy of memory today

part I|43 pages

The nature of memory

part II|51 pages

The metaphysics of memory

chapter 4|12 pages

Memory and truth

chapter 5|13 pages

Memory causation

chapter 6|12 pages

Memory traces

part III|65 pages

Memory and consciousness

chapter 8|10 pages

Memory and consciousness

chapter 10|14 pages

Memory and imagination

chapter 11|13 pages

Memory images

chapter 12|12 pages

Memory and emotion

part IV|38 pages

Memory and the self

chapter 13|11 pages

Memory and personal identity

chapter 15|13 pages

Memory and narrativity

part V|35 pages

Memory and time

part VI|40 pages

The social dimension of memory

chapter 19|12 pages

Extended memory

chapter 20|13 pages

Collective memory

chapter 21|13 pages

Memory and social identity

part VII|67 pages

The epistemology of memory

chapter 22|13 pages

Internalism and externalism

chapter 23|14 pages


chapter 24|13 pages


chapter 25|12 pages

Preservation and generation

chapter 26|13 pages

Skepticism and memory

part VIII|34 pages

Memory and morality

chapter 27|13 pages

A duty to remember

chapter 28|9 pages

An obligation to forget

chapter 29|10 pages

The ethics of memory modification

part IX|189 pages

History of the philosophy of memory

chapter 30|11 pages


chapter 31|12 pages


chapter 32|8 pages

Classical Indian philosophy

chapter 33|12 pages

Indian Buddhist philosophy

chapter 34|11 pages

Chinese Buddhist philosophy

chapter 35|9 pages


chapter 36|13 pages

Avicenna and Averroes

chapter 37|9 pages

Thomas Aquinas

chapter 38|10 pages

John Locke and Thomas Reid

chapter 39|7 pages

David Hume

chapter 40|9 pages

G. W. F. Hegel

chapter 41|14 pages

Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan

chapter 42|9 pages

Henri Bergson 1

chapter 43|9 pages

Bertrand Russell

chapter 44|9 pages

Maurice Halbwachs

chapter 45|9 pages

Frederic Bartlett

chapter 46|11 pages

Ludwig Wittgenstein

chapter 47|6 pages

Martin Heidegger

chapter 48|9 pages

Paul Ricoeur