A1 Journal article (refereed)
Future contingency and God’s knowledge of particulars in Avicenna (2022)

Kaukua, J. (2022). Future contingency and God’s knowledge of particulars in Avicenna. British Journal for the History of Philosophy, Ahead of print. https://doi.org/10.1080/09608788.2022.2088469

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Publication details

All authors or editors: Kaukua, Jari

Journal or series: British Journal for the History of Philosophy

ISSN: 0960-8788

eISSN: 1469-3526

Publication year: 2022

Publication date: 28/06/2022

Volume: Ahead of print

Publisher: Routledge

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09608788.2022.2088469

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/82124


Avicenna’s discussion of future contingent propositions is sometimes considered to entail metaphysical indeterminism. In this paper, I argue that his logical analysis of future contingent statements is best understood in terms of the epistemic modality of those statements, which has no consequences for modal metaphysics. This interpretation is corroborated by hitherto neglected material concerning the question of God’s knowledge of particulars. In the Taʿlīqāt, Avicenna argues that God knows particulars by knowing their complete causes, and when contrasted with the human knowledge of particulars, this epistemically superior access shows that the contingency of statements about future particulars is not due to the modal properties of real particulars but to the nature of human access to them.

Keywords: philosophers; God; Islam; future; theology; Arabic philosophy; theory of knowledge

Free keywords: Avicenna

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Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2022

JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2023-03-10 at 13:44