Following their discussion of the
Inga-Otto thought experiment, Andy Clark and David Chalmers propose
the following necessary and sufficient conditions for what
information is to be a part of one’s cognitive apparatus:
First, the notebook is a constant in
Otto’s life – in cases where the information in the notebook would
be relevant, he will rarely take action without consulting it.
Second, the information in the notebook is directly available without
difficulty. Third, upon retrieving information from the notebook he
automatically endorses it. Fourth, the information in the notebook
has been endorsed at some point in the past, and indeed is there as a
consequence of this endorsement. (Clark & Chalmers, 1998, p.
Suppose that Dotto is a perfectly
normal human being, but that he never trusts the names that come to
mind when he sees people’s faces. Suppose he is always correct in
his apparent recollections, but that being distrustful of his mental
faculties, he refrains from relying upon these apparent
recollections. By the third condition of Clark and Chalmers
analysis, it looks as though Dotto cannot have memories of which he
is distrustful, memories that he fails to endorse. Such apparent
memories are not real memories.