Recently, emotion has attracted much attention in many areas of philosophy. In the philosophy of mind, some argue that emotions are individuated and identified with reference to feelings, beliefs, desires, or perceptions. Furthermore, they are often claimed to be changeable, unstable, and ambivalent. However, despite their instability, emotions are sometimes long-standing. They have, in addition, perspective. These characteristics of the emotions, I argue, help us in solving one of philosophy’s most enduring problems, that is, the problem of personal identity. In order to il ustrate this claim I elaborate on the conception of ‘experiential memory’ suggested by Wollheim. To understand memory as experiential, I argue, we need to understand the affective element attached to some memories. I argue that memory affects not only my past thought but also my past emotions, and those emotions deriving from the past stay on to affect my whole being and my future. Hence, I argue that experiential memory is not just confined to the recal ing of events or experiences that the subject has experienced, but concerns the narrative structure of a person’s life as a whole.
emotion, experiential memory, Lockean psychological continuity theory, personal identity, Wollheim
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