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The Axiological Memory

Nicolae Râmbu

This book represents an attempt to explain the manner in which values are attached to memory. The author examines that when the fundamental values of a civilisation are attached to the individual’s memory, they can never be forgotten or erased, irrespective of how violent or subtle the means used for this purpose might be. The essay investigates why some people who have been educated in a foreign culture and who are, well-integrated, suddenly return to the fundamental values of their culture of origin and, in some cases, they violently turn against their foster civilization.

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Preface

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The present essay represents an attempt to explain the manner in which values are attached to memory. Despite the existence of a wide range of specialised literature dedicated to memory and recollection, as has been noticed, among others, by Jan Assmann in his work on cultural memory, there are almost no essays dedicated to the relationship between memory and values. Unlike the cultural memory, which is external to the individual, as stated by Jan Assmann, the axiological memory is sustained, on the one side, by a series of mechanisms by means of which a particular civilisation maintains its own set of core values in a relatively constant manner and, on the other side, by the axiological consciousness of each individual in it. In other words, the axiological memory has an external as well as an internal dimension in relation to the individual. The “oblivion” of values is not only possible, but also necessary only as far as the external dimension of the axiological memory is concerned, but individually speaking, it can never forget its table of values. The thesis sustained in the present work is that when the fundamental values of a civilisation are attached to the individual’s memory, they can never be “forgotten” or erased, irrespective of how violent or subtle the means used for this purpose might be. This is how we can explain why some people who have been educated in a foreign culture and who are, apparently, well-integrated, suddenly return to the fundamental values...

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