Is knowledge based on memories?

Very interesting (if tantalizingly brief) question. There's reason to think that all human beings rely on their memories for any knowledge they possess. One might think I can know at least some facts about my present-tense experiences without relying on my memory, but what facts could those be? For example, if I'm to know that I have a headache (when I do have one), arguably I must know what counts as a headache, and isn't that something I once learned and now remember?

Descartes (1596-1650) was very sensitive to the role of memory in human knowledge. He famously argued that (a) only if you're aware of the existence of a benevolent God do you have sufficient reason to trust your memory, and that (b) without sufficient reason to trust your memory you know virtually nothing. Both (a) and (b), and Descartes's arguments for them, can of course be questioned. You'll find more at this link.

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