Andrew Brown (2007) Figure. Ink and conte crayon on paper.
Memory informs us, albeit imperfectly, of what has occurred, “thus far.” The reliability of memory correlates directly with the vividness of the remembered experience and its nearness in time.
Conscious experience generates mountains of chaff. Memory is necessarily selective. Short term memory is essential for even the simplest coherent action through time. Our very personhood and sense of identity depends on it. Without immediate memory we cannot move from one moment to the next, lost and bewildered a meaningless present.
Can a person suffering severe memory loss, maintain a sense of identity? Is a functional memory for the construal of experience a necessary prerequisite for personhood?
Not all experiential events are of equal weight. What would be the consequences of total recall? We know that memory is necessarily selective. How do we distinguish between what is important and what is trivial?