Contextual Usage

“Omniscience” derives from the Latin “omnis,” meaning “all,” and “scientia,” meaning “knowledge.” The term was first used in English in the early 17th century to describe the attribute of possessing complete or unlimited knowledge.

Historical Usage

  • Latin Origin: “Omnis” (all) and “scientia” (knowledge).
  • Early Modern English: Adopted in theological contexts to describe God’s attribute of knowing everything.

Modern Usage Across Disciplines

  1. Theology: Describes the divine attribute of God having infinite knowledge.
  2. Philosophy: Discusses concepts of infinite knowledge and its implications on free will and determinism.
  3. Literature: Used to describe characters or narrators who know all aspects of the story.
  4. Artificial Intelligence: Explores the concept of machines or systems possessing comprehensive knowledge.
  5. Education: Refers to the pursuit of extensive and all-encompassing knowledge.

Cultural Perspectives

  • Western Cultures: Commonly used in religious and philosophical discussions.
  • Eastern Cultures: May have parallels in concepts of enlightenment and universal knowledge.

Omniscience in Modern Context

Today, “omniscience” is used to describe complete knowledge in various fields, from theology to artificial intelligence, highlighting the aspiration towards comprehensive understanding.