Monday, April 12, 2004
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Forget, Memory

The Whys of the Oubliette Film

Recent popular films on memory loss raise the question of whether it’s something to fear—or enjoy.



A write-in from Mark Conard: “FYI, This issue/debate is much older than a few decades. Locke, for example, argues in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding that personal identity is to be equated with our conscious awareness of our past history, such that if an individual were given or acquired a different consciousness (a different set of memories), he would be a different person.”

Posted by editor on 15 Apr 04 at 08:16 PM

Admittedly, “centuries” would have been the better word choice over “decades”.  I am aware of the age-old philosophical debate concerning the connection between memory and identity, which is briefly alluded to in the review, though perhaps too briefly.  Thank you for filling in the philosophical history.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 16 Apr 04 at 11:24 AM

I write in response to both the article and Conrad’s comment.

Ms. O’Donnell posits:

“If we lose our ability to remember, we lose a big chunk of our humanity and self-identity.”

Who knew that better than Blade Runner’s Godhead, Tyrell?  He needed memories to render his creations, in his words, “more human than human.”

I quote Deckard:

“Memories.  You’re talking about memories.”


Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 16 Apr 04 at 01:25 PM
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