This paper reviews disorders of memory. After a brief survey of the clinical varieties of the amnesic syndrome, transient and persistent, selected theoretical issues will be considered by posing a series of questions. (i) What is impaired and what is spared in anterograde amnesia? (ii) Do temporal lobe, diencephalic and frontal lobe amnesias differ? (iii) How independently semantic is semantic memory? (iv) What determines the pattern and extent of retrograde memory loss? (v) Can retrograde amnesia ever be "isolated"? (vi) Does psychogenic amnesia involve the same mechanisms as organic amnesia? (vii) How and when do false memories arise? Commonalities as well as differences across separate literatures will be emphasized, and the case for a more "dynamic" (interactionist) approach to the investigation of amnesia will be advocated.