more from C.I. Lewis

Single Idea 21501

[catalogued under 12. Knowledge Sources / E. Direct Knowledge / 4. Memory]

Full Idea

To doubt our sense of past experience as founded in actuality, would be to lose any criterion by which either the doubt itself or what is doubted could be corroborated.

Gist of Idea

If we doubt memories we cannot assess our doubt, or what is being doubted


C.I. Lewis (An Analysis of Knowledge and Valuation [1946], 358), quoted by Erik J. Olsson - Against Coherence 3.3.1

Book Reference

Olsson,Erik J.: 'Against Coherence' [OUP 2008], p.50

A Reaction

Obviously scepticism about memory can come in degrees, but total rejection of short-term and clear memories looks like a non-starter. What could you put in its place? Hyper-rationalism? Even maths needs memory.