Is a life without memories possible? Why are we so afraid to forget? What happens exactly when our mind forms a memory? Although the analogy computer “memory” might lead us to think otherwise, we understand almost nothing about memory. Perhaps this is why we fear oblivion: we know that oblivion is the truth of memory. We constantly swing between the two extremes of remembrance and oblivion, between a tenacious attachment to memories and the secret desire to free ourselves of their burden. With the help of philosophy, neuroscience and ethology, this book provides a map of the mnemonic field, featuring the two opposing forces of forgetting and remembering and upon which our difficult relationship with time is based.
Felice Cimatti teaches Philosophy of Language at the University of Calabria. In 2012 he was awarded the prestigious Italian Psychoanalytical Society’s Musatti Prize.