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Toward a Framework for Memory : Straus and Some Others

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image of Journal of Phenomenological Psychology

After defining various aspects of memory, this paper has sought to outline the phenomenology of memory developed by Erwin Straus and his effort to refute the trace or engram theory of memory storage. We found Straus proposing some major insights : that human experience has its own structure of lived time, that this experience transcends the realm of physical events, and that the suchness of past experiences is preserved, and can be reactivated, in lived time. Straus's approach repudiates the conventional reductionistic wisdom about memory. That wisdom has some powerful support, both ideological and experimental. However, other evidence taken from physiological, neurological, clinical and psychological observations lends weight to Straus's views. The final answer is not in, but it seems plausible that Straus was on the right track toward a framework for human memory. We concluded with a brief broadening out of the Straus framework into the whole realm of lived time or temporality.


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