Can God Make a Picasso? William Ockham and Walter Chatton on Divine Power and Real Relations

Journal of the History of Philosophy 45 (3):395-411 (2007)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This article focuses on one aspect of the late mediaeval debate over divine power, as it was discussed by Oxford philosophers Walter Chatton (d. 1343) and William Ockham (d. 1347). Chatton and Ockham would have agreed, for example, that God is ultimately responsible for the existence of the works of Pablo Picasso, but they would not agree over wheher it violates God's omnipotence to say that he cannot make something that Picasso made, for example, the painting Guernica, without using Picasso himself as an intermediate cause. The context of their dispute was a larger debate regarding the ontological status of relations. This article (1) explains how these two issues, omnipotence and relations, became so interestingly tangled together, (2) tries to see which of the two men mentioned above got the better of their exchange, and finally (3) draws out some important consequences for fourteenth-century discussions of causality, occasionalism, and omnipotence

Similar books and articles

Iteration and Infinite Regress in Walter Chatton's Metaphysics.Rondo Keele - 2013 - In Charles Bolyard & Rondo Keele (eds.), Later Medieval Metaphysics: Ontology, Language, and Logic. New York: Fordham University Press. pp. 206-222.
Guglielmo di Ockham, l’onnipotenza divina e l’intuizione del non-esistente.Fabrizio Amerini - 2019 - In Fabrizio Amerini, Simone Fellina & Andrea Strazzoni (eds.), _Tra antichità e modernità. Studi di storia della filosofia medievale e rinascimentale_. Raccolti da Fabrizio Amerini, Simone Fellina e Andrea Strazzoni. Firenze-Parma, Torino: E-theca OnLineOpenAccess Edizioni, Università degli Studi di Torino. pp. 812-877.
Walter Chatton.Girard J. Etzkorn - 2003 - In Jorge J. E. Gracia & Timothy B. Noone (eds.), A Companion to Philosophy in the Middle Ages. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 674–675.


Added to PP

518 (#39,193)

6 months
125 (#40,269)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Rondo Keele
Northwestern State University

Citations of this work

God’s Place in Logical Space.Andrew Dennis Bassford - 2021 - Journal of Analytic Theology 9:100-125.
Peter of Palude and the Fiery Furnace.Zita V. Toth - 2020 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 37 (2):121-142.
Walter Chatton's Rejection of Final Causality.Kamil Majcherek - 2019 - Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy 7 (1).
Motivation and Beyond?Sonja Schierbaum - 2023 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 40 (2):109-131.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations