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On Memory And Reminiscense   


identical with those who are quick at recollecting. But the act of

recollecting differs from that of remembering, not only

chronologically, but also in this, that many also of the other animals

(as well as man) have memory, but, of all that we are acquainted with,

none, we venture to say, except man, shares in the faculty of

recollection. The cause of this is that recollection is, as it were

a mode of inference. For he who endeavours to recollect infers that he

formerly saw, or heard, or had some such experience, and the process

(by which he succeeds in recollecting) is, as it were, a sort of

investigation. But to investigate in this way belongs naturally to

those animals alone which are also endowed with the faculty of

deliberation; (which proves what was said above), for deliberation

is a form of inference.

That the affection is corporeal, i.e. that recollection is a

searching for an 'image' in a corporeal substrate, is proved by the

fact that in some persons, when, despite the most strenuous

application of thought, they have been unable to recollect, it (viz.

the anamnesis = the effort at recollection) excites a feeling of

discomfort, which, even though they abandon the effort at

recollection, persists in them none the less; and especially in

persons of melancholic temperament. For these are most powerfully

moved by presentations. The reason why the effort of recollection is

not under the control of their will is that, as those who throw a

stone cannot stop it at their will when thrown, so he who tries to

recollect and 'hunts' (after an idea) sets up a process in a

material part, (that) in which resides the affection. Those who have

moisture around that part which is the centre of sense-perception

suffer most discomfort of this kind. For when once the moisture has

been set in motion it is not easily brought to rest, until the idea

which was sought for has again presented itself, and thus the movement

has found a straight course. For a similar reason bursts of anger or

fits of terror, when once they have excited such motions, are not at

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