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Memory and History

July 8, 2006

Have been reading Eric Kandel’s wonderful book, In Search of Memory. I have often wondered why historians seem to have very little interest in memory. They rely heavily on it as source material, but don’t seem interested in understanding how it works. Very short sighted and possibly a sign that they are actually afraid of knowing the answers.

Kandel writes a wonderful combination of history of science, personal reflections and just plain science. I wish more authors would follow this example, though it probably helps if you are as interesting as Kandel. There is indeed an important place for this knowledge in historical writing. We must understand the fundamental science of memory before we accept memories as evidence. (originally published on untimelymeditations.zenosox.com 5/29/06 9:15pm)

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