Omniscience on the Cheap: A True Believer with Self-Knowledge

If knowledge is something like justified true belief, then omniscience would appear to require a multitude, if not an infinity, of justifications.  So one might think that omniscience is a costly hypothesis.  But, here is one way to get omniscience on the cheap:

Suppose there is a subject such that this subject believed the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.  Suppose, also, that this subject knew its own nature.

If the subject knew of its nature, then it would know that all beliefs it held were true.  So it would have belief, p, and beliefs about why p is true, etc.  If this subject knew that it only held true beliefs, then that one bit of knowledge would justify every other belief, and every belief believed to justify other beliefs.  Such a being would be omniscient.

How might such a mind apprehend the fact that it believes all and only truths?  If such a mind were to intellectually grasp its own nature, then it would know that it believes all truths and no falsehoods.  It would be a true believer that knows it is a true believer.  This is something like what Aristotle describes when he says that the Divine Mind is thought thinking itself (Metaphysics XII.9; 1074b33-34).

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Posted on July 18, 2013, in Nature of God and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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