Journal title RIVISTA DI STORIA DELLA FILOSOFIA
Author/s John Marenbon
Publishing Year 2013 Issue 2013/1 Language Italian
Pages 13 P. 9-21 File size 482 KB
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This article discusses Boethius’s argument in Consolation V.3-6 that divine omniscience of even the future is compatible with some things happening contingently. Section 1 argues that, according to Boethius, the kernel of the problem is not that God’s beliefs about the future are true, but that they must be incapable of turning out false - something which seems incompatible with the unfixedness of contingent events. Section 2 looks at the Modes of Cognition Principle (everything that is cognized is cognized, not according to its own power, but rather according to the capacity of those who are cognizing), one of the building blocks of Boethius’s solution, and contends that it is far bolder than anything Boethius may have found in his sources, putting forward as it does a limited relativism about knowledge. Section 3 argues that the other important building block, the view that all things, past, present and future, are present to God, should be understood epistemically (he knows them as if they were in his present) rather than metaphysically (God’s present is co-extensive with worldly past, present and future).
Keywords: Boethius, contingency, necessity, foreknowledge, eternity, time
John Marenbon, Divine prescience and contingency in Boethius’s Consolation of philosophy in "RIVISTA DI STORIA DELLA FILOSOFIA" 1/2013, pp 9-21, DOI: 10.3280/SF2013-001002