Models of Memory

The Platonic Memory Model


"Imagine that there exists in the mind of man a block of wax, which is of different sizes in different men; harder, moister and having more or less purity in one than another... and that when we with to remember anything which we have seen or heard, or thought in our own minds, we hold the wax to the perception and thoughts, and in that material received the impression of them as from the seal of a ring; and that we remember and know what is imprinted as long as the image lasts; but when the image is effaced or cannot be taken then we forget and do not know."

"Imagine, again, there exists in the mind of man an aviary of all sorts of birds - some flocking together apart from the rest, others in small groups, others solitary flying anywhere and everywhere. When reaching into this aviary to grasp a particular bird, I may emerge with the wrong one such that when I thought eleven to be twelve I got hold of the ring-dove which I had in my mind, when I wanted the pigeon."

- Theaeteus


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