Bertrand Russell: The Analysis of Mind

9. LECTURE IX. MEMORY (continued)

But the answer to our second question, namely as to what we are feeling when we say a thing "occurs" or is "real," must be somewhat different. We do not, unless we are unusually reflective, think about the presence or absence of correlations: we merely have different feelings which, intellectualized, may be represented as expectations of the presence or absence of correlations. A thing which "feels real" inspires us with hopes or fears, expectations or curiosities, which are wholly absent when a thing "feels imaginary." The feeling of reality is a feeling akin to respect: it belongs PRIMARILY to whatever can do things to us without our voluntary co-operation. This feeling of reality, related to the memory-image, and referred to the past by the specific kind of belief-feeling that is characteristic of memory, seems to be what constitutes the act of remembering in its pure form.

We may now summarize our analysis of pure memory.

Memory demands (a) an image, (b) a belief in past existence. The belief may be expressed in the words "this existed."

The belief, like every other, may be analysed into (1) the believing, (2) what is believed. The believing is a specific feeling or sensation or complex of sensations, different from expectation or bare assent in a way that makes the belief refer to the past; the reference to the past lies in the belief-feeling, not in the content believed. There is a relation between the belief-feeling and the content, making the belief-feeling refer to the content, and expressed by saying that the content is what is believed.

The content believed may or may not be expressed in words. Let us take first the case when it is not. In that case, if we are merely remembering that something of which we now have an image occurred, the content consists of (a) the image, (b) the feeling, analogous to respect, which we translate by saying that something is "real" as opposed to "imaginary," (c) a relation between the image and the feeling of reality, of the sort expressed when we say that the feeling refers to the image. This content does not contain in itself any time-determination

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