Many theories of psychological organization posit both long-term and short-term memories. The long-term memories serve as persistent (but not necessarily perfect) repositories of knowledge, skills, and other elements of human capital; the short-term memories serve to store the fleeting facts of present experience, which then either are discarded or incorporated into long-term memory.
The notion of memory in these theories concerns the function of memory structures in thinking, but this function has mainly to do with issues of persistence, not with the content of memory. In common theories, memory content is assumed to contain elements of what we can call the outlook, point of view, or attitudes of the agent, as well as habits, skills, and other aspects of mind.
This chapter examines the notions of memory and outlook from the mechanical point of view, without adopting a position on the exact set of mental elements that define outlook. The fundamental identifications explored take mental outlook to constitute mental position, and memory to consist of both mental mass and persistent aspects of internal configuration reflected in the position. Thinking of memory as mass and configuration fits well with everyday usage. Mass persists across motion, and this also holds for long-term memory; some aspects of configuration, such as the support one belief has in others, also persist and can be used in explaining behavior. Thinking of mental attitudes as positions also finds a good home in everyday usage.