Dugald Stewart, Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind ( 1792), 6th edn., 2 vols. ( London: T. Cadell & W. Davies, 1818), i. 403-7.
Dugald Stewart's work in the philosophy of mind profoundly influenced nineteenth-century psychology. In particular, his discussion of memory in Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind set up the basic terms of all subsequent discussion. This extract is from the beginning of chapter 6.
The word Memory is not employed uniformly in the same precise sense; but it always expresses some modification of that faculty, which enables us to treasure up, and preserve for future use, the knowledge we acquire; a faculty which is obviously the great foundation of all intellectual improvement, and without which, no advantage could be derived from the most enlarged experience. This faculty implies two things: a capacity of retaining knowledge; and a power of recalling it to our thoughts when we have occasion to apply it to use. The word Memory is sometimes employed to express the capacity, and sometimes the power. When we speak of a retentive memory, we use it in the former sense; when, of a ready memory, in the latter.
The various particulars which compose our stock of knowledge are, from time to time, recalled to our thoughts, in one of two ways: sometimes they recur to us spontaneously, or at least, without any interference on our part; in other cases, they are recalled, in consequence of an effort of our will. For the former operation of the mind, we have no appropriated name in our language, distinct from Memory. The latter, too, is often called by the same name, but is more properly distinguished by the word Recollection. [...]
It is evident, that when I think of an event, in which any object of sense was concerned, my recollection of the event must necessarily involve an act of Conception. Thus, when I think of a dramatic representation which I have recently seen, my recollection of what I saw, necessarily involves a conception of