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‘The Mind as an Object of God's Knowledge’: Another Cartesian Temptation?

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Abstract:

Abstract

In this paper my aim is to consider the picture of God's immediate knowledge of the mind as this appears in Wittgenstein's work, where its soundness seems to be brought into question. My argument is that the response to this denial should take the form, not of an investigation of a theological position concerning God's knowledge (“can God look into the human mind?”), but of a negotiation of the difficulties affecting our use of this picture. A great part of the latter can be seen as difficulties in mastering the communicative relation between God and man which lies at the heart of the religious form of life, and which arises from the dislocation which familiar language-games undergo within it.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9205.2008.01361.x

Affiliations: Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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