Philosophy Talk Has ‘No Cheating Allowed!’

Dr. Scott Shalkowski

Dr. Scott Shalkowski

Scott Shalkowski, senior lecturer at the University of Leeds, delves into a cluster of topics at the intersection of epistemology of religion and philosophical apologetics in a lecture, “No Cheating Allowed!” on Wednesday, April 5, at 3:30 p.m. in Hieronymus Lounge at Westmont’s Kerrwood Hall. The Westmont Philosophy Department Lecture is free and open to the public.

“If religious believers feel at a disadvantage when their beliefs are subject to intellectual criticism in the public marketplace of ideas how should they respond?” asks Mark Nelson, Westmont professor of philosophy and lecture organizer. “Some might fear that they face a choice between scrambling to find arguments that they hope their critics will like better, or simply admitting defeat and withdraw from intellectual discussion altogether.

“Before religious thinkers are forced to choose between these difficult options, Scott Shalkowski is going to argue that we should examine the criteria by which religious beliefs and commitments are often assessed and criticized. Believers should not be exempt from criticism nor from the requirements of rationality, but they should make sure that the rules of this ‘game’ are themselves fair and reasonable and impartially applied by all parties.”

Shalkowski graduated from Houghton College and earned a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Michigan. He has held teaching positions at Chapman University, the University of Memphis, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Western Australia. He has been teaching at the University of Leeds for more than 20 years. His areas of research and teaching are primarily in metaphysics, philosophy of mathematics and philosophy of religion.

“He is an accomplished philosophical author and the only person I personally know who has managed the trifecta in analytic philosophy: have articles published in Philosophical Review, Journal of Philosophy, and Mind,” Nelson says. “Scott is a lucid and clear-eyed thinker as well as an engaging lecturer.”