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Surname 1Student NameProfessorModuleDateThe Role of Memory in Personal IdentityIntroductionA strong sense of identity that we normally experience as human beings always resultfrom the experiences, we are able to remember. There several researchers such as John Lockewho have suggested that the concept of self-identity is can usually be explained through the useof memory. Memory, according to philosopher Locke, is what actually constitutes personalidentity. Powerful illusions such as persistence result from the functioning of the memory. Incontemporary society, many accounts suggest that memory determines the personal identity ofthe individual. “This idea that identity is based in memory underpins the excitement that greetsthe brain implants being developed by US firms such as Medtronic and Boston Scientific aspotential ‘cures’ for Alzheimer’s”(Olson). Thus, the understanding of the memory as thedeterminant of our self-identity plays a critical role in the psychological field.The loss of memory will actually lead to a loss of indemnity, such as in the cases ofsevere dementia. The precise role that the memory plays in preservation and constitution of self-identity is uncertain despite it being a vital component in many personal identity theories.However, personal identity describes why we do and how we do things by the fact that we arehuman beings. Personal identity is represented in one’s memory. Often, the memory of oneself is
what actually constitutes the identity of the individual. For instance, through the memory of anindividual, one can see if something is dangerous or some experiences are fantastic if he or sherecollects some of the experiences they have gone through. However, this paper will discuss therole of memory in personal identity.Types of Human MemoryHuman memory is a multifaceted system that many philosophers have tried to understandin the view of how memory varies, remembering for a long time, as well as its characteristics.Similarly, during many debates on personal identity, people usually tend to leave out the types ofmemories that exist. An argument about the importance of quality memories in personal identityshould focus on questions of how and why (Jungert, pg. 132). There are several types ofmemories, such as declarative and non-declarative memories. Declarative memory is thecapacity to retain and recall important facts and events. However, both declarative and non-declarative memory types are vital in personal identity.Autobiographical memory is a subsystem of declarative memory that contains vital,emotionally charged memories about significant events in the unique history of an individual.Autobiographical memories often contain a high level of detail and can be remembered overquite a long time. An individual with autobiographical memories can re-experience episodesmentally from his or her past. In so doing, anticipation and evaluation of the future and thecurrent actions based on decisions from the past, personal preferences, and experiences becomesquite easy. In this case, autobiographical memories prevent individuals from reactingimmediately to tasks or challenges by allowing them to reflect on past behavior and thinkingcritically and to base current action and thinking on the results of this reflection.