International Studies in Philosophy Monograph Series


Un-Forgetting: Re-Calling Time Lost

Stephen David Ross
Pages 177-218

Past and Future

By submitting to the primacy of the question “What?” the phenomenology of memory finds itself at the outset confronting a formidable aporia present in ordinary language: the presence in which the representation of the past seems to consist does indeed appear to be that of an image. We say interchangeably that we represent a past event to ourselves or that we have an image of it, an image that can be either quasi visual or auditory. . . . Memory, reduced to recall, thus operates in the wake of the imagination. . . . As a countercurrent to this tradition of devaluing memory, in the margins of a critique of imagination, there has to be an uncoupling of imagination from memory as far as this operation can be extended. (Ricoeur, MHF, 5–6)