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Marking the Mind
A History of Memory

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  • Date Published: September 2008
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9780511426612

$ 27.00 USD ( )
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About the Authors
  • Memory is one of the few psychological concepts with a truly ancient lineage. Presenting a history of the interrelated changes in memory tasks, memory technology and ideas about memory from antiquity to the late twentieth century, this book confronts psychology's 'short present' with its 'long past'. Kurt Danziger, one of the most influential historians of psychology of recent times, traces long-term continuities from ancient mnemonics and tools of inscription to modern memory experiments and computer storage. He explores historical discontinuities, showing how different kinds of memory became prominent at different times, and examines these changes in the context of specific themes including the question of truth in memory, distinctions between kinds of memory, the project of memory experimentation and the physical localization and conceptual location of memory. Daniziger's unique approach provides a historical perspective for understanding varieties of reproduction, narratives of the self and short-term memory.

    • The clarity and organisation makes it suitable for students of disciplines as different as history of science, neuroscience, and sociology
    • Bridges the gulf separating historical and psychological studies; draws on the work of historians to provide a broad background for developments in the science of memory
    • Challenges common assumptions and raises a host of new questions to consider
    Read more


    • Winner of the Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2009

    Reviews & endorsements

    "Building on his earlier seminal work on the history of psychological categories, Danziger's latest book will be the definitive text on the history of memory as a psychological category for years to come. Written with great clarity and scholarship, it will be of interest to anyone who wishes to enhance their understanding of those things we call memory and of how that term is used."
    --Alan Collins, Lancaster University

    "Against the conceit that the question of memory is a problem to be solved entirely along experimental or neurobiological lines, Danziger presents a brilliant exposition of what he calls the "domestication of memory". To remember is to be engaged in social practices with a host of cultural artifacts. An enthralling history of what different eras have taken to be the locus of memory; this work convincingly demonstrates that the history of theories of memory is not to be confused with the history of memory."
    --Henderikus J. Stam, University of Calgary

    "In this amazing historical treatise on the concept of memory, Danziger (York Univ., Canada) offers a materialist perspective on how memory tasks, technologies, and views about memory have developed from antiquity to the present...The writing is impeccable--even the copius annotated bibliographic notes at the end of each chapter make excellent reading. Anyone interested in the psychology of human learning, memory, and cognition must read this book. Essential..."
    --G.C. Gamst, University of La Verne, CHOICE [June 2009 Vol. 46 No. 10]

    "...engaging across the entire text...enlighten a much broader readership whose interest in understanding memory as a faculty moves well beyond college-level classes...the author's skillful writing is certain to generate curiosity in much of his work."
    --Metapsychology, Maura Pilotti, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Hunter College, New York

    "... This book is wide in scope and impressive in its scholarship and erudition... a wonderful book, a success on all levels... Marking the Mind is essential reading for anyone with a strong interest in the study of memory, from any of its many possible perspectives. Rarely have I been so glad to have read a book."
    --Henry L. Roediger III, PsycCRITIQUES [Vol. 54, Release 32, Article 1]

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2008
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9780511426612
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. Does memory have a history?
    2. The rule of metaphor
    3. The cultivation of memory
    4. Privileged knowledge
    5. An experimental science of memory
    6. Memory kinds
    7. Truth in memory
    8. A place for memory
    9. Memory in its place.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Cultures and Histories of the Mind
    • History and Systems of Psychology
    • Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
    • Rhetorics of Memory and Memorial
  • Author

    Kurt Danziger, York University, Toronto
    Kurt Danziger is Professor Emeritus of York University, Canada and Honorary Professor of the University of Cape Town, South Africa.


    • Winner of the Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2009

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