Can God Know More? A Case Study in the Later Medieval Debate about Propositions

In Charles Bolyard & Rondo Keele (eds.), Later Medieval Metaphysics: Ontology, Language, and Logic. Fordham University Press. pp. 161-187 (2013)
Authors
Susan Brower-Toland
Saint Louis University
Abstract
This paper traces a rather peculiar debate between William Ockham, Walter Chatton, and Robert Holcot over whether it is possible for God to know more than he knows. Although the debate specifically addresses a theological question about divine knowledge, the central issue at stake in it is a purely philosophical question about the nature and ontological status of propositions. The theories of propositions that emerge from the discussion appear deeply puzzling, however. My aim in this paper is to show that there is a way of making sense of these views (and, by implication, of much of what is puzzling about medieval theories of propositions). The key, I argue, lies in getting clear about the precise theoretical roles these thinkers assign to propositions in their accounts of propositional attitudes.
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