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Summary: Zagzebski argues that traditional omniscience ought to be revised into ‘omnisubjectivity’, whereby God has ‘perfect total empathy’ with all conscious beings. She elaborates on what is meant by this, and makes the important qualification that when God has perfect total empathy, God is aware that God’s empathetic state is a ‘copy’. Zagzebski is motivated by conceiving of God as a personal being, who knows everything about God’s creatures – including their conscious states. An analogy is drawn to Jackson’s Mary the Colour Scientist – Mary’s does not know ‘what it is like’ to see in colour when confined to her black and white room, in spite of knowing all propositional facts about colour science and seeing in colour. Similarly, with classical omniscience, God knows the truth value of every proposition, but does not know ‘what it is like’ to be each of God’s creatures. Omnisubjectivity alleges to thus build on classical omniscience, whilst avoiding the worry that God (mistakenly) thinks that God actually is each conscious creature.
Comment: Very useful for teaching about classical vs non-classical conceptions of God (omnisubjectivity being a 'non-classical' version of omniscience).Export citation in BibTeX formatExport text citationView this text on PhilPapersExport citation in Reference Manager formatExport citation in EndNote formatExport citation in Zotero format
Zagzebski, Linda. Omnisubjectivity
2008, Jonathan Kvanvig (ed.) Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion Vol. 1.
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