Jim Slagle’s Epistemological Skyhook, Part 1: Plantinga

September 5, 2017

In this interview with epistemologist Jim Slagle, we discuss the Epistemological Skyhook. That is, the argument that certain philosophical positions (such as naturalism and determinism) give us a reason to believe in skepticism, which in turn, gives us a reason to doubt the reasoning that got us to the position in the first place. If the argument is correct, then while it is possible that naturalism or determinism might be true, it is impossible for us to believe in them. In this first part of our two-part discussion, we focus on Alvin Plantinga's version of the argument.

Next week: The Epistemological Skyhook w/ Prof. Jim Slagle, Part 2: Nagel, skepticism, and religious experience

Visit http://williamnava.com for more info!

Special thanks for Jackie Blum for the podcast art, and The Tin Box for the theme music.

Sources: 

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

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Intro to the Liar, Part 2: Structure and the Inclosure Schema

August 29, 2017

How can we tell if a paradox is really of the Liar family? Bertrand Russell proposed a structure that Graham Priest has called the "inclosure schema" - a mechanism meant to identify what drives self-referential paradoxes like the Liar and Russell's. In this episode, I break down the technical details of the inclosure schema to show how it fits the paradoxes in question and allows us to tell apart Liar-type paradoxes from those that aren't. I also look at some problems with the schema and how they might be solved. I conclude with an overview of a solution to the Liar: one favored by C.S. Peirce.

Next week: The Epistemological Skyhook w/ Prof. Jim Slagle

Visit http://williamnava.com for more info!

Special thanks for Jackie Blum for the podcast art, and The Tin Box for the theme music.

Sources:

"The Structure of the Paradoxes of Self-Reference" by Graham Priest

"Dialetheic Vagueness" by Graham Priest

"This Proposition Is Not True: C.S. Peirce and the Liar Paradox" by Richard Kenneth Atkins

Paradoxes by R. M Sainsbury

 

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Intro to the Liar, Part 1: Variations

August 22, 2017

"This sentence is false." More ink has been spilled over the meaning of these four words than almost any other paradox in the history of philosophy. Why? What makes the Liar's loopy reasoning more than just a party trick? How does the Liar challenge basic laws of logic and the meaning of truth? To understand the problems the Liar poses, we need to dive into its structure. What makes the Liar tick? Is it self-reference? What does it share with related paradoxes, like Russell's paradox and the truth-teller paradox? What do the phenomena of "strengthened liars" and "circular liars" tell us about what's at stake with this family of paradoxes?

Next week: Intro to the Liar, Part 2: Structure

Visit http://williamnava.com for more info!

Special thanks for Jackie Blum for the podcast art, and The Tin Box for the theme music.

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What Is Logic? What Are Paradoxes?

August 14, 2017

Logic is one of these things we all have intuitions about. Most of us think we know how to use it. But what actually IS it? When we say, "that's not logical," or, "logic dictates that x," are we all referring to the same thing? Most of us would agree that logic is a fundamental aspect of how we reason - that, in fact, we can't reason without it. But then, if there are disagreements about how logic works - and there are! - how can we decide which side is right without presupposing some type of logic?

Next week: Intro to the Liar and Its Variations

Visit http://williamnava.com for more info!

Sources for this episode:
The Blue Book
 (Ludwig Wittgenstein)
Graham Priest's talk on settling disputes in logic
An Introduction to Non-Classical Logic (textbook)

Special thanks for Jackie Blum for the podcast art, and The Tin Box for the theme music.

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