The Time of Memory

By Charles E. Scott

Subjects: Literature
Series: SUNY series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy
Paperback : 9780791440827, 305 pages, December 1998
Hardcover : 9780791440810, 305 pages, January 1999

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Table of contents


CHAPTER ONE Introduction: Measuring Shadows

CHAPTER TWO Mnemosyne's Loss and Stolen Memories


Remembering Hans Georg Gadamer
Mnemosyne and Lethe
Heidegger and Derrida
A Notation on Mnemosynic Thinking
Stolen Memories: An Excursus on Memorial Fusions


CHAPTER THREE On Originating and Presenting Another Time: The Art of Tragedy


First Fragmentary Image
Sublime Foreigners
A Second Fragment
Memory and the Future of Dionysian Thought (Without Prophecy)
Last Fragment


CHAPTER FOUR Powers of Transformation within a Memorial Reading: Narratives of Dionysus


Dionysian Memory and Thought
An Excursus on Sanity and a Sublime Aspect of Dionysian Occurrences
Dionysian Self-Criticism


CHAPTER FIVE The "Power" of Nondetermination with Determinations in Appearances


Engagement and Encounter
Apollinian Force
Nature, Ecstasy, and the Sublime


CHAPTER SIX Institutional Songs and Involuntary Memory: Where Do "We" Come From?


Locating the Present-Past


CHAPTER SEVEN When the Company of Time Casts No Shadow: Memory of Differences and Nondetermination


A Transition to Orders of Disorder by Means of Dionysus' Masks
Orders of Samenesses and Differences—And In Between Them
Similitude and a Birth of Difference in Binary Structures: An Exposition
Establishing Discontinuities
An Instance of Establishing Discontinuity: Signs of Representation
The Space of a Question
Frameworks for Analyses: An Excursus on Full Houses


CHAPTER EIGHT Repetitions and Differenciations


Liberation from Common Sense and Good Spirit
Singularity and Memory


CHAPTER NINE Gifts of Fire: Witnessing and Representing


Trace and Blindness: Witnessing the Touch


CHAPTER TEN A Symptom of Life in the Absence of Light


The Worldliness of "Inner," Private Experience
Meaning Is the Face of the Other
A Sense of the Absence of Light in Relations
Return to Infinite Meaning


CHAPTER ELEVEN Gifts without Fire: Thinking and Remembering


What We Philosophers Do
Strategies for Thinking (With Attention to Its Drawing Powers)
Two Strategies for Thinking
Thought and Ethos
Observing in a Subjunctive Mood




Explores the mythology of memory, involuntary memory, and the relation between time and memory in the context of questions prominent in contemporary thought.


The Time of Memory places emphasis on nonvoluntary memory and the mythology of memory in the context of questions that are prominent in contemporary thought. How do memories form experiences of origin and identity? How might we describe the functions of memory in thought or knowledge? Are there memories without images? How do past times become present? The book also addresses the force of mutation in the formation of memories as well as the roles of memories in experiences of ecstasy, sublimity, continuity, and discontinuity. The book engages Aristotle, Nietzsche, Foucault, Derrida, and Heidegger, as well as such mythological figures as Mnemosyne, Lethe, Dionysus, and Apollo.

Charles E. Scott is the Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Philosophy at The Pennsylvania State University, University Park. He is the author of several books, including Boundaries in Mind, and two that have been awarded "Choice Book of the Year": The Question of Ethics, and On the Advantages and Disadvantages of Ethics and Politics. He is also the coeditor of several volumes published by SUNY Press, including most recently Ethics and Danger: Essays on Heidegger and Continental Thought.


"The Time of Memory is a tour de force in its comprehensive treatment of the subject of memory. It traverses the landscape of philosophical and psychoanalytical treatments of memory—offering adept and accessible accounts of Jungian notions of mythical memory, Nietzschean notions of genealogical memory, phenomenological and hermeneutical accounts of fused and ecstatic memory, and recent studies of archeological and transformational memory in poststructuralism and postmodern philosophy.

"This work is thoroughly scholarly in its rigorous attentiveness to the matter under investigation, but Scott does not approach the problem of memory from an abstract, merely epistemological point of view. His study of memory is itself a memorial, a performance of the various kinds of re-membering he discusses. It is written with extraordinary grace and fluency and is rich with concrete references that elucidate the difficult points. Readers will appreciate that finally we have a treatise on memory that is full of memories." — Walter A. Brogan, Villanova University