By Jonathan L. Kvanvig
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Extra info for The Possibility of an All-Knowing God
His justification for that belief is defective in a certain way, a way which prevents him from having knowledge. Recently, Grim has argued on these grounds that 0 is an inadequate clarification of the doctrine of omniscience. He claims: An omniscient being in the sense of 0 cannot hold false beliefs, and moreover cannot hold beliefs from mere caprice or without justification. If justified true belief were knowledge, 0 would be the answer to our difficulties. But of course knowledge is not merely justified true belief.
In addition, we must discuss the nature of knowledge in order to be clear about the requirements of omniscience, and therefore this chapter will investigate the nature of knowledge and its objects. This statement of purpose is, of course, a little overstated; for certainly a complete epistemology cannot be presented in one chapter. Rather, I shall investigate the nature of knowledge in so far as it bears on the doctrine of omniscience. First, I shall discuss the nature of knowledge in sufficient detail to develop a preliminary understanding of the claim that there is an omniscient being, and I shall also distinguish that claim from the claim that there is a being who has the property of being omniscient essentially.
THE TRADITIONAL CONCEPTION OF OMNISCIENCE What we are calling the traditional account of omniscience is this: what it means for a being to be omniscient is for that being to be such that, 28 The Possibility of an All-Knowing God for all propositions p, p is true if and only if that being knows that p. As Geach puts it, ' 'God knows that p' is true if and only if the plain 'p' is true. 'l There are two key notions in the brief statement of the view above. One is that a certain proposition is true, the other is that of knowing that a proposition is true.