Can God make a picasso? William ockham and Walter chatton on divine power and real relations

Journal of the History of Philosophy 45 (3):395-411 (2007)
Abstract
: This article focuses on one aspect of the late mediaeval debate over divine power, as it was discussed by Oxford philosophers Walter Chatton (d. 1343) and William Ockham (d. 1347). Chatton and Ockham would have agreed, for example, that God is ultimately responsible for the existence of the works of Pablo Picasso, but they would not agree over wheher it violates God's omnipotence to say that he cannot make something that Picasso made, for example, the painting Guernica, without using Picasso himself as an intermediate cause. The context of their dispute was a larger debate regarding the ontological status of relations. This article (1) explains how these two issues, omnipotence and relations, became so interestingly tangled together, (2) tries to see which of the two men mentioned above got the better of their exchange, and finally (3) draws out some important consequences for fourteenth-century discussions of causality, occasionalism, and omnipotence
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