False Memories and Reproductive Imagination: Ricoeur’s Phenomenology of Memory

Abstract

In cognitive psychology, a false memory refers to a fabricated or distorted recollection of an event that did not actually happen. Both ‘memory-distortion’ and ‘false memory creation’ refer to the processes of recollection in which the recollected events are not actually happened. This paper has three aims: (1) to examine Ricoeur’s analysis of memory and imagination; (2) to explain and reinforce the constructive role of memory; (3) to show in what manner the first two aims lead to the conclusion that the phenomena of ‘distorted or false memory creation’ are reproductive because the nature of recollection is constructive in the sense of representation of past. In this regard, Ricoeur’s trajectory not only displaces the essential structure of memory and imagination behind the curtain of their distinction and connection, but also contributes to the debates in cognitive psychology.

Keywords: Ricoeur, phenomenology, memory, imagination, schematism false memory creation


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