Memory, Personal Identity, and Moral Responsibility

Creative Commons License

Sol A.

Springer-Verlag , Dordrecht, 2009

  • Publication Type: Book / Research Book
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Publisher: Springer-Verlag
  • City: Dordrecht
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


In this essay, we investigate the relevance of memory to personal identity and

moral responsibility. In so doing, we make a distinction between personal

identity characterized by the continuity of memory and narrative self-identity

characterized by bio-physical continuity and connectedness which allows us

to examine moral responsibility in the presence and absence of memory. We

argue that memory provides direct access to our past experiences which one

immediately appropriates, in contrast to imputing our unremembered acts to

ourselves from the third-person perspective. We also maintain that we would

be morally responsible for those acts that we remember and those that we

don’t, since these acts become either part of our personal identity or narrative