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DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-K061-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved July 25, 2024, from

Article Summary

The concept of omniscience has received great attention in the history of Western philosophy, principally because of its connections with the Western religious tradition, which views God as perfect in all respects, including as a knower. Omniscience has often been understood as knowledge of all true propositions, and though several objections to any simple propositional account of omniscience have been offered, many philosophers continue to endorse such an analysis. Advocates of divine omniscience have discussed many problems connected with both the extent of omniscience and the relation between this property and other alleged divine attributes. Three such issues are: Can an omniscient being properly be viewed as immutable? Would an omniscient being have knowledge of the future, and is such knowledge consistent with our future actions’ being genuinely free? And should omniscience be thought of as including middle knowledge? That is, would an omniscient being know (but have no control over) what other free beings would in fact freely do if placed in various different situations?

Citing this article:
Flint, Thomas P.. Omniscience, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-K061-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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