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March 31, 2005


Remember that part in Anchorman where Will Ferrell turns out to be a genius on jazz flute? That was funny.

I didn't see Anchorman. To my knowledge I have never seen any movie starring Will Ferrell.

I do remember that part, though, since all learning is remembering, nicht wahr?

What, haven't you seen Zoolander? Actually, that's not so surprising.

But the real question is, could you say that you don't remember that part?

I have seen parts of Zoolander, when it was shown on the quads (this is a Summer Breeze thing, yes?) one spring. Part of the end. I am prepared to believe it's a good, even a funny, movie, but—I haven't seen it.

As for whether you can say that you don't remember something you never knew, I'm pretty sure we've "discussed" that before.

Oh, we have. We "have."

I do remember that part, though, since all learning is remembering, nicht wahr?

What makes this a sequitur?

Since I had never seen the movie, I learned of that scene when I read Adam's comment. I therefore answered the question in the affirmative, and gave a supporting reason.

BZZZT! "Remembering that part" != "Remembering that that part exists." So even if the inference from "I know that that part exists" to "I remember that that part exists" is valid, the further inference to "I remember that part" is not.

Unfortunately James Higginbotham's excellent paper on such subjects, "Remembering, Imagining and the First Person," is now in print and consequently no longer on line. Some discussion here.

This may be the nadir of my commenting career.

I would think that it's obvious to anyone who has ever remembered that something exists without being able to remember what it was precisely that remembering that something exists and remembering that thing are wholly distinct (I also hope that lots of people have experienced that phenomenon because god knows it happens to me ALL THE FUCKING TIME).

My prodigious powers of bullshitting are such that I feel comfortable asserting that I remember that part even though I actually just learned of its existence.

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