omniscience

omniscience
   Omniscience is easily defined as the knowledge of all truth (though we should also add that God has personal knowledge of everything). Christian philosophers have wrestled, however, with various problems that have been posed: one is the famous problem of foreknowledge and freedom, another is the problem of indexicals - can God know what I know when I know that I am sitting here now? The point is that it is not merely an arbitrary matter of expression that I report what I know by the words 'I am sitting here now'; no, this reflects part of my knowledge, since I might have forgotten my name and know myself only as 'I'. It appears that only I can know myself this way (God knows only himself as 'I') and, consequently, it appears that there are truths that I, but not God, can know. One response to these problems is to say that an agent is omniscient if and only if that agent knows all that it is possible for him or her to know, but this is unsatisfactory since it appears that there are many truths that it is impossible for us to know (for example, about God's nature) and one naturally assumes that, even if we knew everything possible for us to know, this ignorance would still be enough to prevent us from being correctly counted as omniscient.
   Further reading: Craig 1987 and 1991; Hill, Daniel J. 2005; Rudavsky 1985

Christian Philosophy . . 2015.

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  • omniscience — [ ɔmnisjɑ̃s ] n. f. • 1734; lat. médiév. omniscientia ♦ Littér. Science de toute chose. « Dans l idée de Dieu, avec son omnipotence et son omniscience » (Baudelaire). ● omniscience nom féminin (latin scolastique omniscientia) Littéraire.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Omniscience — Om*nis cience, n. [Cf. F. omniscience.] The quality or state of being omniscient; the quality of knowing everything; an attribute peculiar to God. Dryden. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • omniscience — (n.) 1610s, from M.L. omniscientia all knowledge, from L. omnis all (see OMNI (Cf. omni) ) + scientia knowledge (see SCIENCE (Cf. science)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • omniscience — [äm nish′əns; ] Brit & Cdn [, ämnis′ē əns] n. [ME < ML omniscientia] the state or quality of being omniscient …   English World dictionary

  • Omniscience — For the album by Swans, see Omniscience (album). Omniscience (  /ɒmˈ …   Wikipedia

  • Omniscience — L Omniscience (omnisciente au féminin) est la capacité de tout savoir infiniment, ou de manière plus restrictive, tout ce qui peut être connu sur un sujet quelconque, et notamment dans le cas d une personne de connaître intégralement ses pensées… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • omniscience — (o mni si an s ) s. f. Terme de théologie. La science infinie de Dieu. •   Nous savons démonstrativement que, si Dieu existe, Dieu est libre ; nous savons en même temps qu il sait tout ; mais cette prescience et cette omniscience sont aussi… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Omniscience — All knowledge. Infinite awareness, understanding, and insight. Someone who (supposedly) possesses omniscience is omniscient. From the Latin omni (all) + scire (to know) = to know all. Medical students and nursing students would do well to recall… …   Medical dictionary

  • omniscience — omniscient ► ADJECTIVE ▪ knowing everything. DERIVATIVES omniscience noun omnisciently adverb. ORIGIN Latin omnisciens, from scire to know …   English terms dictionary

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