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The Ethics of Memory



Avishai Margalit formerly of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey, has written a book on THE ETHICS OF MEMORY.

The very title evokes a number of thoughts. We are often told that we have an obligation to remember this or that. "Don't let it be forgot, that once there was a spot ...Camelot...." and other such sentiments. But is that really meant literally? is it even coherent as literally understood?

Galen Strawson has reviewed Margalit's book, here:

https://www.academia.edu/28409721/review_of_Avishai_Margalit_The_Ethics_of_Memory_Strawson.pdf

Strawson thinks it a fine book, but the point he wishes to make is that one of Margalit's points seems to him too selective. Margalit treats it as a near-universal point that humans don't want to be forgotten, they/we want fame that will live on after our death, and this is one reason our friends and family want to help us with that, and thus feel an ethical obligation to our memory.

Strawson says that may be true for some, certainly isn't true for him, and probably isn't true for a majority of humans.

I won't take a side on this, I'll just throw it out there.

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