Descartes presented the Memory response against the cartesian circle. Descartes assumed the reliability of intuition all along. The doubt he laid to rest by proving God's existence is one of memory: after doing that he could be certain that what he remembered as having perceived clearly and distinctly is true.

But don't we need memory to think? How can a person think without having memory? Let me present an example:

  1. All the eagles present currently in the world were born.
  2. All the cockroaches present currently in the world were born.
  3. Therefore, eagles and cockroaches are similar in that regard.

Consider the placeholder argument above. To reach the conclusion (point 3), one must remember points 1 and 2. So, if the reliability of memory has not been ascertained, how can the reliability of intuition be ascertained as thinking/intuiting is completely dependent on memory? How are the reliability of memory and the reliability of intuition independent of each other?

  • But sometimes our memory fails... Having said that, D argument is clever but obviously not conclusive. Nov 10, 2022 at 13:47
  • 1
  • You're not wrong as Plato famously claimed learning is remembering long ago, Kant famously claimed time is the most fundamental intuited form as human mind's inner sense thus for him intuiting is impossible without unfolding of memories in the schematic time, and James hinted the important difference between feeling of a sequence and a sequence of feelings. Without working memory perhaps only the primitive classic Pavlovian conditioning reflex could barely exist for living creatures. Of course (long term) memory may be wrong or corrupted, in this sense Descartes doubted... Dec 6, 2022 at 23:35


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .