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Bennett and Hacker: Village Idiots or Philosophers?

Pierre-Normand Houle houlepn.nospam at attglobal.net
Sat Feb 14 01:38:31 EST 2004

"Ashlie Benjamin Hocking" <abh2n at cobra.cs.Virginia.EDU> wrote in message news:y21kbro4cu1w.fsf at cobra.cs.Virginia.EDU...
> "Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2 at yahoo.com> writes:
> > Why take the language at face value in one instance, and not in the other?
> > If "I remembered that I gave a lecture" is to "recall an event," why isn't
> > "I remember that I have to give a lecture today" a matter of "recalling an
> > event?"
> It _is_. The event that is being recalled that you "have to give a
> lecture today".

I can remember that the train I have to catch leaves at 5:00PM. This
involves no commitment of mine. I can also have forgotten how I learnt
that it leaves at 5:00PM. What I remember is that it leaves later today,
at 5:00PM, and this is a future event. I can also remember it and not
be currently thinking about it. I remember some fact if I am *able*
to tell, when asked, that this fact obtains.

I can also remember that my name is Houle and this is not an event
at all. I do not remember having learnt what my name is. But I do
remember what my name is. And this is not a remembering of some
past event. That my name is Houle is a fact and not an event.

To remember is not to be re-acquainted with some past event. It is
to retain a ability to tell how thing are, were, or are expected to be
with regard to past or future events, or with regard to some intemporal,
e.g. mathematical, facts.

> Of course, most people will (correctly)
> infer that the speaker is actually remembering that in the past he
> committed to giving a lecture in the future, since one cannot remember
> events that have not yet occurred.

The occurence of an event is not a causal prerequisite of your remembering
that this event will take place -- your having learnt that it will take place
might be. But it is not your having learnt of something that you remember
when you remember something. Rather, it is that very something
that you remember: an event, a fact, how somebody looks like, how
a word is spelled, or whatever.

Again, to remember -- not to have forgotten -- is just to have
retained (to still have) a previously acquired skill. It is not to
remember an event of having acquired that skill.

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