The Contradiction Approach to Solving Problems about Omnipotence


  • Michael Wreen Marquette University



Alternate descriptions, Contradiction approach, Omnipotence, Stone problem


Some philosophers have claimed that the concept of omnipotence is implicitly inapplicable to anything. The well-known “stone problem” is an argument to that effect: whether or not a being can create a stone too heavy for him to lift, there is something that he can’t do, and so he is not omnipotent. Some philosophers have replied that no action that falls under a contradiction lies within the scope of omnipotence. This reply employs what I call the contradiction approach. Many philosophers reject the contradiction approach, arguing that there are closely related problems that it cannot solve. In this paper I argue that, duly extended and modified, the contradiction can solve many such problems and is much more resilient than many philosophers think. However, the approach is not itself omnipotent and ultimately must give to a more metaphysical approach in order to salvage the possibility of omnipotence.




How to Cite

Wreen, M. (2022). The Contradiction Approach to Solving Problems about Omnipotence. TheoLogica: An International Journal for Philosophy of Religion and Philosophical Theology, 6(2), 259–270.