Exercises in Self-Justification: Losing Stuff

At what moment have I lost something, when it lands in the place it is while lost, or when I forget where I have put it? Surely, the placement isn’t the key ingredient, but rather my own ignorance of the placement. There seem to be two ways that I can be ignorant about placement, through accident or forgetting. In the first place, it’s not my fault. A thing can slip from a pocket without culpability. But in the second case, is there an exact moment of forgetting? Is it lost when I realize my memory is hazy and cannot immediately reclaim it? But what if I am not yet sure if I cannot reclaim it? I think I left it in place X, or perhaps place Y. My forgetting is not yet confirmed. I am still looking for the memory. So perhaps, is lostness the final conclusion of a fruitless search? In this case I can assure myself that I’ve never lost anything, but am still looking for it. So, if I am ignorant of a thing’s place by accident, it is not my fault. And if by forgetting, I am still looking for it. In either case, I need not be blamed. And if I forget that I’m looking for it, better still, since then I won’t suspect that I will have lost it and cannot blame myself.

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