Omniscience and ignorance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

God’s omniscience generates certain puzzles, not least regarding how such omniscience is compatible with human free will. One option in this regard is to impose limitations on the scope of God’s knowledge, but that then poses the further question of how such limitations can be compatible with God’s nature as a perfect being. I offer a novel way of approaching these questions, which appeals to what I claim is an independently motivated distinction between lacking knowledge and being ignorant. In particular, it is contended that God’s omniscience is best understood not as a complete knowledge of all truths, but rather as a kind of deliberate non-knowing (such that the non-knowing does not indicate any cognitive lack on God’s part) that excludes ignorance. God might not know all truths, but that’s not because of any cognitive lack, and there is certainly no truth about which he is ignorant.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere41050
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalVeritas (Porto Alegre)
Volume66
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • epistemology
  • God
  • ignorance
  • omniscience
  • philosophy of religion

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