De se knowledge and the possibility of an omniscient being

Faith and Philosophy 23 (2):191-200 (2006)
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Abstract

In this paper I examine an argument that has been made by Patrick Grim for the claim that de se knowledge is incompatible with the existence of an omniscient being. I claim that the success of the argument depends upon whether it is possible for someone else to know what I know in knowing (F), where (F) is a claim involving de se knowledge. I discuss one reply to this argument, proposed by Edward Wierenga, that appeals to first-person propositions and argue that this response is unsuccessful. I then consider David Lewis’s theory of de se attitudes involving the self-ascription of properties. I claim that, according to this theory, there are two senses in which someone else can know what I know in knowing (F). I then argue that the second sense allows for the compatibility of de se knowledge with the existence of an omniscient being

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Stephan Torre
University of Aberdeen

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