Philosophy Index

Memory Knowledge

In epistemology, memory is considered to be a source of knowledge, though whether or not is reliable is continually called into question.

Memory can be seen as the faculty by which the human brain stores knowledge, but at any given point in time, it also seems to be the source of the majority of one’s knowledge. For instance, unless you are currently discovering new facts about these things, anything you believe that you know about the other side of the world, the solar system, your past or your family is generally accessible only from your memory.

University of Colorado professor Michael Huemer argues, in a 1999 paper “The Problem of Memory Knowledge”¹ that one can justify his or her memory knowledge by means of a dualistic theory. By this theory, one is justified in believing some proposition that they remember, P, by the fact that he or she has a justifiable reason for believing that P in the first place, and that he or she has a justifiable method of retaining that P.

  1. Huemer, Michael. “The Problem of Memory Knowledge” Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 80 (1999): 346–357.