Aristotle’s On Memory and Reminiscence

steampunk_icon_for_Safari_by_yereverluvinuncleber-d4zhax0As part of my preparation for the chapter on cosplay and memory, I am reviewing rhetorical presentations of memory. These are quotes from Aristotle’s On Memory and Reminiscence translated by J. I. Beare and found online.

“persons who possess a retentive memory are not identical with those who excel in power of recollection”

“Memory is, therefore, neither Perception nor Conception, but a state or affection of one of these, conditioned by lapse of time.”

“Whenever one actually remembers having seen or heard, or learned, something, he includes in this act (as we have already observed) the consciousness of ‘formerly’; and the distinction of ‘former’ and ‘latter’ is a distinction in time.”

“there is in us something like an impression or picture, why should the perception of the mere impression be memory of something else”

“we have to conceive that the mnemonic presentation within us is something which by itself is merely an object of contemplation, while, in-relation to something else, it is also a presentation of that other thing.”

“the one (the unrelated object) presents itself simply as a thought, but the other (the related object) just because, as in the painting, it is a likeness, presents itself as a mnemonic token” These seem like they would be important for cosplay and I should build on them.

“This (occurrence of the ‘sudden idea’) happens whenever, from contemplating a mental object as absolute, one changes his point of view, and regards it as relative to something else.”

Definition “what memory or remembering is, it has now been shown that it is the state of a presentation, related as a likeness to that of which it is a presentation; and as to the question of which of the faculties within us memory is a function, (it has been shown) that it is a function of the primary faculty of sense-perception, i.e. of that faculty whereby we perceive time.”

“the moment of the original experience and the moment of the memory of it are never identical”

“recollecting always implies remembering, and actualized memory follows (upon the successful act of recollecting)”

“recollecting must imply in those who recollect the presence of some spring over and above that from which they originally learn”

“This explains why we hunt up the series (of kineseis) having started in thought either from a present intuition or some other, and from something either similar, or contrary, to what we seek, or else from that which is contiguous with it.”

“Recollecting differs also in this respect from relearning, that one who recollects will be able, somehow, to move, solely by his own effort, to the term next after the starting-point.”

“For remembering, as we have conceived it, essentially implies consciousness of itself.”

“recollection is, as it were a mode of inference”

“Infants and very old persons have bad memories, owing to the amount of movement going on within them” I wonder if this also applies to someone who is an infant in a social community. Will a newbie have difficulty with memories of the first con because they have too much movement within them as they are learning a lot of new things at the same time?

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