Jim Slagle: Epistemological Skyhook, Pt. 2 – Skepticism, Theism, Mind | Who Shaves the Barber? #5

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In part 2 of this interview with epistemologist Jim Slagle, we continue to discuss his Epistemological Skyhook: the argument that naturalism and determinism are epistemically self-defeating. Whereas for the first part we focused on the work of Alvin Plantinga, this time we take a broader view and discuss the roles of theism, mind, and the Agrippan trilemma in the argument; Thomas Nagel’s version of the argument; the possibility of biting the skeptical bullet; an existentialist approach to skepticism; broadly “continental” versions of the argument; where the name “Skyhook” came from; and Slagle’s own history with theism, Christianity, and religious experience.



Next week: Kripke’s Naming and Necessity
Special thanks for Jackie Blum for the podcast art, and The Tin Box for the theme music.

Topics discussed

0:37 – Nagel and teleology without theology
3:18 – Karl Popper’s skyhook against determinism
3:47 – Varieties of theism
5:15 – Continental skyhooks: Hegel, Husserlian psychologism, power
9:02 – Habermas: transcendental arguments
13:05 – Self-defeat v. self-refutation
17:22 – Eliminative materialism
19:40 – Existentialism and biting the skeptical bullet
26:41 – Relativism & subjectivism
28:04 – Why Skyhook? (Daniel Dennett)
33:17 – Science or phenomenon?
36:45 – Avoiding the mental? (Nagel)
38:31 – Is naturalism the orthodoxy in the academy?
40:24 – Why has this argument been ignored? (C.S. Lewis)
43:57 – “Descartes in reverse”
47:15 – Agrippan trilemma
56:19 – Can we doubt sensory experience?
1:01:39 – Pragmatism
1:04:18 – Religious experience


The Epistemological Skyhook: Determinism, Naturalism, and Self-Defeat by Jim Slagle

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