Organon F

Volume 30, November 2023, Issue 4, Pages 350–371

ISSN 2585-7150 (online) ISSN 1335-0668 (print)

Research Article

Empirical Inconsistencies Defying Simulationism

Saskia Janina Neumann


In our common understanding, remembering and imagining are two different entities. Yet, with brain research progressing, this common understanding of remembering and imagining changes significantly. Simulationists go as far as to claim that remembering and imagining only differ in their temporal orientation but are part of the same system. In what follows, I want to defend our common understanding of how to distinguish between remembering and imagining. With the help of empirical studies, I will defend the view that remembering and imagining are significantly different and not only different in their temporal orientation. I will base my argumentation on empirical studies which are suggestive of simulationism having gotten it wrong. In this paper, I will firstly introduce the two opposing views of simulationism and the causal theory of memory. With the help of empirical studies, I will secondly show that simulationism faces significant evidence of being wrong and thirdly, will suggest that a slightly changed version of the causal theory of memory does a better job in explaining the introduced research results.


Causal Theory of Memory; epistemology of memory; memory traces; philosophy of Memory; philosophy of cognitive science; simulationism.

Author(s) and affiliation(s)


Saskia Janina Neumann


Eötvös Loránd University


Institute of Philosophy, Eötvös Loránd University, Múzeum krt. 4-6, 1088 Budapest, Hungary


About this article


26 September 2023


8 December 2023


14 December 2023


Institute of Philosophy of the Slovak Academy of Sciences

Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Cite as


Neumann, S.J. (2023). Empirical Inconsistencies Defying Simulationism. Organon F30(4), 350–371.


Neumann, Saskia Janina. 2023. "Empirical Inconsistencies Defying Simulationism." Organon F 30 (4): 350–371.


Neumann, S.J. (2023). Empirical Inconsistencies Defying Simulationism. Organon F, 30(4), pp. 350–371.

Copyright information

© Saskia Janina Neumann

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