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Because I forgot: memory and responsibility

Alexander McCall Smith, author and Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh, discusses memory.

Memory is vital to our sense of identity – of who we are. But memory is not always reliable, and at times may fail us badly. Are we to blame for forgetting to do things that we should do? People tend to blame others for forgetting certain things, and yet surely a failure to remember is not something over which we always have control, and normally we are only blamed for those things which we can control. And are there circumstances in which we should encourage people to forget – because the rehearsing of past wrongs can clutter our dealings with others? This is a delicate issue: there are strong grounds for remembering the wrongs and mistakes of the past in order to avoid their repetition


Professor Alexander McCall Smith | talks


Date and Time:

2 December 2005 at 6:30 pm


1 hour



Playfair Library Hall
Old College, The University of Edinburgh
South Bridge

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Organised by:

The Edinburgh Lectures
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£3 per ticket administrative fee

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Usher Hall Box office
0131 228 1155

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