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Understanding omnipotence

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 February 2012

KENNETH L. PEARCE
Affiliation:
School of Philosophy, University of Southern California, Mudd Hall of Philosophy, 3709 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0451, USA e-mail: kpearce@usc.edu
ALEXANDER R. PRUSS
Affiliation:
Department of Philosophy, Baylor University, One Bear Place #97273, Waco, TX 76798-7273, USA e-mail: Alexander_Pruss@baylor.edu

Abstract

An omnipotent being would be a being whose power was unlimited. The power of human beings is limited in two distinct ways: we are limited with respect to our freedom of will, and we are limited in our ability to execute what we have willed. These two distinct sources of limitation suggest a simple definition of omnipotence: an omnipotent being is one that has both perfect freedom of will and perfect efficacy of will. In this article we further explicate this definition and show that it escapes the standard objections to divine omnipotence.

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012

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