The Problematic Presence of Memory

Jordan-Stevens, Christopher
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University of Guelph

This thesis is an investigation of memory. Reflective memory demands two things. First, that it might relate and logically position itself in relation to what is absent. Second, that it is to remain open to free repetition for so long as it goes unchallenged by forgetting or correction. Under these structural requests, the ground for an ontological comparison appears: are not these demands also the demands of language? According to Husserl’s Logical Investigations, a sign must, in its hunger for truth and fulfillment, be able both to constitute a relation with the signified, though absent, object and to repeat its sense and meaning over time. Analogously then, memory is like a language insofar as it speaks of the past in its absence and, at the same time, drives forward to its ‘death’, self-effacement, and dissolution; that is, forward into the resolution of truth.

Memory, Husserl, Phenomenology