Metaphors of Memory: A History of Ideas about the Mind

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Cambridge University Press, Dec 7, 2000 - History - 241 pages
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What is memory? It is at the same time ephemeral, unreliable and essential to everything we do. Without memory we lose our sense of identity, reasoning, even our ability to perform simple physical tasks. Yet it is also elusive and difficult to define, and throughout the ages philosophers and psychologists have used metaphors as a way of understanding it. First published in 2000, this fascinating book takes the reader on a guided tour of these metaphors of memory from ancient times to the present day. Crossing continents and disciplines, it provides a compelling history of ideas about the mind by exploring the way these metaphors have been used - metaphors often derived from the techniques and instruments developed over the years to store information, ranging from wax tablets and books to photography, computers and even the hologram. Accessible and thought-provoking, this book should be read by anyone who is interested in memory and the mind.
  

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Contents

The Mystic WritingPad
7
memory as writing
24
The splendour of the Bologna Stone
49
A vast labyrinth
68
A mirror with a memory
103
Digital memory
138
The holographic memory
165
An enchanted loom
185
The homunculus
212
Optical neural computers
223
Index of subjects
238
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About the author (2000)

Douwe Draaisma is Professor of History of Psychology at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. He is the author of Metaphors of Memory (Cambridge, 2001).

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