Memory and Morals in Memento: Hume at the Movies

35 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2020

Date Written: December 2007


In the hopes of directing students to the great philosophic texts through the entertainment fare they consume, this article analyzes the philosophic significance of Memento, a 2000 film directed by Christopher Nolan. We understand the film as a thought experiment in which memory capacity is partially removed from the main character, Leonard Shelby. The experiment is run with Leonard's thoughts and behavior according with Hume's epistemology and cognitive psychology. As a result, Memento ends up illustrating Hume's positions on personal identity, the character of justice, and the intellectual limitations of the human mind.

Keywords: memory, morals, hume, film, philosophy, justice, personal identity, self, skepticism

Suggested Citation

Bragues, George, Memory and Morals in Memento: Hume at the Movies (December 2007). Available at SSRN: or

George Bragues (Contact Author)

University of Guelph-Humber ( email )

207 Humber College Boulevard
Toronto, Ontario M9W 5L7
416-798-1331, Ext. 6049 (Phone)
416-798-3293 (Fax)

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