Article ID: CBB047376708

To Whom do Our Memories Belong? About the Burden to Remember and the Freedom to Forget (2022)


Elena Nicolaou (Author)
Giulio Mecacci (Author)

Medicina nei Secoli - Arte e Scienza
Volume: 34
Issue: 2
Pages: 129-142
Publication date: 2022
Language: English

Autobiographical memories contribute to forming the core of who we are. However, memories of traumatic events can be experienced as a burden. Recent neurotechnology research indicates the possibility of selectively dampening or even erasing specific memories. On a personal level, altering even a single memory could lead to significant changes in one’s self-understanding and psychological continuity, ultimately threatening authenticity. On a collective level, memory dampening and erasure neurotechnology could affect accountability mechanisms (e.g., in witness testimony) and more in general, alter the process of collecting and recollecting society’s historical memory. The question is whether these concerns outweigh the possible mental health benefits to the individual. We argue that the fundamental rights to cognitive liberty and mental health grant a subject the right to decide upon their own memory, within constraints and having met several conditions.

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Authors & Contributors
Zeidman, Lawrence A.
Montinari, Maria Rosa
Czech, Herwig
Hartouni, Valerie
Hirshbein, Laura Davidow
Koch, Lene
Medicina nei Secoli - Arte e Scienza
Journal of the History of the Neurosciences
Mefisto: Rivista di medicina, filosofia, storia
Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science, and Technology
Social Studies of Science
Medicina Historica
Franco Angeli
Oxford University Press
University of Chicago Press
Le Lettere Edizioni
Medicine and ethics
Science and ethics
Beauchamp, Tom L.
Birkmayer, Walther
Childress, James F.
Colombo, Realdo
Kraepelin, Emil
Time Periods
20th century
21st century
19th century
20th century, early
20th century, late

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