photo of Tony Bezsylko

Tony Bezsylko [home page]

Dissertation advisors: Michael Martin and Barry Stroud

I am currently finishing my dissertation, titled Memory and Mechanism, in which I argue for and develop a view of episodic memory I call the retained acquaintance view. This is the view that episodic memory is direct acquaintance with a past object or event and is such only because of a previous acquaintance with that object or event. My argument for this view is that we know our dreams by remembering them and unless the retained acquaintance view is true, we do not know our dreams by remembering them. I develop the view so as to clearly distinguish episodic memory from perception: perception involves the capacity to think demonstratively about an object or event, while episodic memory is the retention of a previously acquired demonstrative capacity without having to continuously perceptually attend to the object or event. Finally, I draw out the consequences of the retained acquaintance view for the thought that episodic memory is a physical mechanism for preserving content. For more details about the project, other research, and teaching please see my home page here.