Dementia & The Social Scaffold Of Memory | University of Oxford

Dementia & The Social Scaffold Of Memory

Speaker
Professor Richard Holton
Event date
Event time
16:30 - 18:30
Venue
Oxford Martin School
Broad Street
Oxford
Oxfordshire
OX1 3BD
Venue details

Lecture Theatre

Event type
Lectures and seminars
Event cost
Free
Disabled access?
Yes
Booking required
Required

Lecture 1 of 3.

Loss of memory is a central feature of dementia. On a Lockean picture of personal identity, as memory is lost, so is the person. But the initial effect of dementia is not the simple destruction of memory. Many memories can be recognized with suitable prompting and scaffolding, something that thoughtful family and friends will naturally offer. This suggests a problem of access. More radically, if memory itself is a constructive process, it suggests a problem of missing resources for construction - resources which can be provided by others. This applies equally to procedural memories—to the practical skills likewise threatened by dementia. This leads us away from a narrowly Lockean approach: the power to recognize a memory, or exercise a skill, may be as important as the power to recall; and contributions from others may be as important as those from the subject.