Russell philosophical work, 1921.
Fishburn and Hughes: "A book by Bertrand Russell examining the workings of the human mind as deduced from our experience of the physical world. The theory that 'the past has no reality other than its present memory' is posited in chapter 9 as part of a wider discussion of the relation between memory and knowledge. In order to illustrate the difference between past sensation and present image, Russell points out that a memory-belief happens in the present, and not in the past to which the belief is said to refer. Extending his argument, he proposes that there is no logical necessity that a memory-belief be based upon a real past event, or even 'that the past should have existed at all'. His exact words at page 159 are: 'There is no logical impossibility that the world sprang into being five minutes ago, exactly as it was, with a population that "remembered" a wholly unreal past.' This statement, however, is qualified on the next page, where he asserts that he did not intend his suggestion of the non-existence of the past as a serious hypothesis but was using its logical tenability as a help in the analysis of what occurs when we remember: 'Like all sceptical hypotheses, it is logically tenable but uninteresting.' (Lönnrot in ‘La muerte y la brújula’ says something similar of his rival’s explanation: ‘Posible, pero no interesante’)." (10)