Cem/thesis draft

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I. Background

The relation between memory and personal identity has been a significant topic in philosophy since the 17th century, starting with Locke’s memory theory. Defining self- but for Self to exist there has to be an Other. And it is the constant communication between the two that constitutes what is real -life.

Memory is a constructed thing, both in the cases of the collective and the individual, and the reciprocal affection. It is always open to manipulation.

Our memory and its attributes are in a constant change; improvements in technology are affecting our communication (among each other) and memory (of self x machine)


Thesis Statement: Ongoing exchange between the Self and the Other, the individual and the collective, shows that the memories are traces left on the other, and the memory can never represent the full truth, but it can give a hint about reality.


II. Body

First Topic: Home Video and Family Album: Externalization of Memory

Point A: The way the externalization of Memory affects the act of remembering.

Supporting evidence: Taking a photograph of something becomes forgetting it.

Supporting evidence: As we augment our capabilities through technological improvements, our brains adapt.


Point B : Old family videos and photographs do more than just evoking the feeling of nostalgia. They establish the individual memory.

1. Supporting evidence: The events we see have a different effect than the events we are told (telling x showing). A person can constitute a memory of an event- an illusion of memory- by being exposed to an image.

2. Supporting evidence: Ulus Baker(?)


Second Topic: The mass media images leave a memorial residue on the individual.

Point A: The images that we face in the mass media construct our memory on a social level and their distribution is in the hands of the power holders, therefore the social memory is constructed through these channels.


1. Supporting evidence: Using the power of media images for propaganda. (rewrite history) - (photograph of Stalin that was altered to indicate that he was not present)

2. Supporting evidence: People who claim to have seen the events that they haven’t witnessed but actually saw in the media. (also people who can’t recall what they witnessed but remember the news images)

3. Supporting evidence: The constant exposure to a definition of an ideal through the media images forms the society. (have you ever seen a celebrity in your dream?)


Third Topic: The internet can be used as a tool to understand and define the collective.

Point A: The internet in terms of Bodnar’s understanding of the collective memory: the official and the vernacular.

1. Supporting evidence: The rise of the content creators.

2. Supporting evidence: It is possible by using online digital data to create a hybrid image of the collective memory, made of the vernacular and the official.


Point B : The internet as Jung’s Collective Unconscious

1. Supporting evidence : The internet as a dump of images that no one will ever see.


III. Conclusion

1. Events in our memory are residues of what we have experienced. they construct our identity. (our residue is our identity)


2. Ongoing exchange between the Self and the Other, the individual and the collective, shows that the memories are traces left on the other, and can never represent the full truth. Just like an artwork. Maybe looking at artworks slowly tells us something about the collective unconscious, or the soul of society.