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God and TimeEssays on the Divine Nature$
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Gregory E. Ganssle and David M. Woodruff

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195129656

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195129656.001.0001

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Direct Awareness and God's Experience of a Temporal Now

Direct Awareness and God's Experience of a Temporal Now

(p.165) 8 Direct Awareness and God's Experience of a Temporal Now
God and Time

Gregory E. Ganssle

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the implications of William Alston's claim that God knows what he knows without having any beliefs. Most discussions of God's knowledge assume that we ought to understand God's knowledge as being something like a propositional attitude, just as we understand human knowledge. Alston has challenged this construal of divine knowledge. God knows what he knows, Alston claims, in virtue of his direct awareness of facts. He does not have propositional attitudes at all. It is argued that if God knows what he knows by direct awareness, then God must be atemporal. If God is temporal, he cannot have absolute immediate awareness of past or future facts. Absolute immediate awareness cannot span time. A knowing subject who is temporal can have direct intuitive awareness only of those facts that are temporally present.

Keywords:   God, William Alston, divine knowledge, human knowledge

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