Switch to: References

Add citations

You must login to add citations.
  1. Misinformation, Content Moderation, and Epistemology: Protecting Knowledge.Keith Raymond Harris - 2024 - Routledge.
    This book argues that misinformation poses a multi-faceted threat to knowledge, while arguing that some forms of content moderation risk exacerbating these threats. It proposes alternative forms of content moderation that aim to address this complexity while enhancing human epistemic agency. The proliferation of fake news, false conspiracy theories, and other forms of misinformation on the internet and especially social media is widely recognized as a threat to individual knowledge and, consequently, to collective deliberation and democracy itself. This book argues (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Conspiracy Theories, Scepticism, and Non-Liberal Politics.Fred Matthews - 2023 - Social Epistemology 37 (5):626-636.
    There has been much interest in conspiracy theories (CTs) amongst philosophers in recent years. The aim of this paper will be to apply some of the philosophical research to issues in political theory. I will first provide an overview of some of the philosophical discussions about CTs. While acknowledging that particularism is currently the dominant position in the literature, I will contend that the ‘undue scepticism problem’, a modified version of an argument put forward by Brian Keeley, is an important (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  • Engaging with “Fringe” Beliefs: Why, When, and How.Miriam Schleifer McCormick - forthcoming - Episteme:1-16.
    I argue that in many cases, there are good reasons to engage with people who hold fringe beliefs such as debunked conspiracy theories. I (1) discuss reasons for engaging with fringe beliefs; (2) discuss the conditions that need to be met for engagement to be worthwhile; (3) consider the question of how to engage with such beliefs, and defend what Jeremy Fantl has called “closed-minded engagement” and (4) address worries that such closed-minded engagement involves problematic deception or manipulation. Thinking about (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Genealogical Undermining for Conspiracy Theories.Alexios Stamatiadis-Bréhier - 2023 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-23.
    In this paper I develop a genealogical approach for investigating and evaluating conspiracy theories. I argue that conspiracy theories with an epistemically problematic genealogy are (in virtue of that fact) epistemically undermined. I propose that a plausible type of candidate for such conspiracy theories involves what I call ‘second-order conspiracies’ (i.e. conspiracies that aim to create conspiracy theories). Then, I identify two examples involving such conspiracies: the antivaccination industry and the industry behind climate change denialism. After fleshing out the mechanisms (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Can You Keep a Secret? BS Conspiracy Theories and the Argument from Loose Lips.Ryan Ross - forthcoming - Episteme:1-20.
    According to an argument that I will call the argument from loose lips, we can safely reject certain notorious conspiracy theories because they posit conspiracies that would be nearly impossible to keep secret. I distinguish between three versions of this argument: the epistemic argument, the alethic argument, and the statistical argument. I, then, discuss several limitations of the argument from loose lips. The first limitation is that only the statistical argument can be applied to new conspiracy theories. The second limitation (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  • Bayesian belief protection: A study of belief in conspiracy theories.Nina Poth & Krzysztof Dolega - 2022 - Philosophical Psychology.
    Several philosophers and psychologists have characterized belief in conspiracy theories as a product of irrational reasoning. Proponents of conspiracy theories apparently resist revising their beliefs given disconfirming evidence and tend to believe in more than one conspiracy, even when the relevant beliefs are mutually inconsistent. In this paper, we bring leading views on conspiracy theoretic beliefs closer together by exploring their rationality under a probabilistic framework. We question the claim that the irrationality of conspiracy theoretic beliefs stems from an inadequate (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Origins of the “Deep State” Trope.Winston Berg - 2023 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 35 (4):281-318.
    ABSTRACT The term “deep state” has enjoyed political prominence in recent years, especially in movements around former President Donald Trump. However, the term emerged in the activist milieu after the founding of Students for a Democratic Society, which sought to engender political realignment in the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination. Those on the far right who use the term to level accusations of conspiracy at supposed subversives in the administrative state are unwittingly drawing on a long-running but little-analyzed intellectual tradition. (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Bayesian belief protection: A study of belief in conspiracy theories.Nina Poth & Krzysztof Dolega - 2023 - Philosophical Psychology 36 (6):1182-1207.
    Several philosophers and psychologists have characterized belief in conspiracy theories as a product of irrational reasoning. Proponents of conspiracy theories apparently resist revising their beliefs given disconfirming evidence and tend to believe in more than one conspiracy, even when the relevant beliefs are mutually inconsistent. In this paper, we bring leading views on conspiracy theoretic beliefs closer together by exploring their rationality under a probabilistic framework. We question the claim that the irrationality of conspiracy theoretic beliefs stems from an inadequate (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  • Should Academics Debunk Conspiracy Theories?Kurtis Hagen - 2020 - Social Epistemology 34 (5):423-439.
    This article addresses the question, ‘Should scholars debunk conspiracy theories or stay neutral?’ It describes ‘conspiracy theories’ and two senses of ‘neutrality,’ arguing that scholars should be...
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   6 citations  
  • Conspiracy Theories.Jared A. Millson - 2020 - 1000wordphilosophy.Com.
  • Conspiracy Theories Are Not Beliefs.Julia Duetz - 2022 - Erkenntnis:1-15.
    Napolitano (2021) argues that the Minimalist Account of conspiracy theories—i.e., which defines conspiracy theories as explanations, or theories, about conspiracies—should be rejected. Instead, she proposes to define conspiracy theories as a certain kind of belief—i.e., an evidentially self-insulated belief in a conspiracy. Napolitano argues that her account should be favored over the Minimalist Account based on two considerations: ordinary language intuitions and theoretical fruitfulness. I show how Napolitano’s account fails its own purposes with respect to these two considerations and so (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   9 citations  
  • Some problems with particularism.Keith Raymond Harris - 2022 - Synthese 200 (6):1-16.
    Particularists maintain that conspiracy theories are to be assessed individually, while generalists hold that conspiracy theories may be assessed as a class. This paper seeks to clarify the nature and importance of the debate between particularism and generalism, while offering an argument for a version of generalism. I begin by considering three approaches to the definition of conspiracy theory, and offer reason to prefer an approach that defines conspiracy theories in opposition to the claims of epistemic authorities. I argue that (...)
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  • Why We Should Be Suspicious of Conspiracy Theories: A Novel Demarcation Problem.Maarten Boudry - 2022 - Episteme 20 (3):611-631.
    What, if anything, is wrong with conspiracy theories (CTs)? A conspiracy refers to a group of people acting in secret to achieve some nefarious goal. Given that the pages of history are full of such plots, however, why are CTs often regarded with suspicion and even disdain? According to “particularism,” the currently dominant view among philosophers, each CT should be evaluated on its own merits and the negative reputation of CTs as a class is wholly undeserved. In this paper, I (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  • Suspicious conspiracy theories.M. R. X. Dentith - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-14.
    Conspiracy theories and conspiracy theorists have been accused of a great many sins, but are the conspiracy theories conspiracy theorists believe epistemically problematic? Well, according to some recent work, yes, they are. Yet a number of other philosophers like Brian L. Keeley, Charles Pigden, Kurtis Hagen, Lee Basham, and the like have argued ‘No!’ I will argue that there are features of certain conspiracy theories which license suspicion of such theories. I will also argue that these features only license a (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   10 citations  
  • Normativity in studying conspiracy theory belief: Seven guidelines.Rik Peels, Nora Kindermann & Chris Ranalli - 2023 - Philosophical Psychology 36 (6):1125-1159.
    This paper aims to provide clear guidelines for researchers studying conspiracy theory belief. It examines the meta-linguistic question about how we should conceptualize 'conspiracy theory' and its relationship to the evaluative question of how we should evaluate beliefs in conspiracy theories, addressing normative issues surrounding the meaning, use, and conceptualization of ‘conspiracy theory’, as well as how these issues might impact how researchers study conspiracy theories or beliefs in them It argues that four norms, the Empirical Accuracy Norm, the Linguistic (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Betting on Conspiracy: A Decision Theoretic Account of the Rationality of Conspiracy Theory Belief.Melina Tsapos - 2024 - Erkenntnis 89 (2):1-19.
    The question of the rationality of conspiratorial belief ¬divides philosophers into mainly two camps. The particularists believe that each conspiracy theory ought to be examined on its own merits. The generalist, by contrast, argues that there is something inherently suspect about conspiracy theories that makes belief in them irrational. Recent empirical findings indicate that conspiratorial thinking is commonplace among ordinary people, which has naturally shifted attention to the particularists. Yet, even the particularist must agree that not all conspiracy belief is (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  • The Future of the Philosophy of Conspiracy Theory: An Introduction to the Special Issue on Conspiracy Theory Theory.M. R. X. Dentith - 2023 - Social Epistemology (4):405-412.
    Looking at the early work in the philosophy of conspiracy theory theory, I put in context the papers in this special issue on new work on conspiracy theory theory (itself the product of the 1st International Conference on the Philosophy of Conspiracy Theory held in February 2022), showing how this new generation of work not only grew out of, but is itself a novel extension of the first generation of philosophical interest in these things called ‘conspiracy theories’.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  • Conspiracy theories are not theories: Time to rename conspiracy theories.Kevin Reuter & Lucien Baumgartner - forthcoming - In Manuel Gustavo Isaac, Steffen Koch & Kevin Scharp (eds.), New Perspectives on Conceptual Engineering. Springer.
    This paper presents the results of two corpus studies investigating the discourse surrounding conspiracy theories and genuine theories. The results of these studies show that conspiracy theories lack the epistemic and scientific standing characteristic of theories more generally. Instead, our findings indicate that conspiracy theories are spread in a manner that resembles the dissemination of rumors and falsehoods. Based on these empirical results, we argue that it is time for both re-engineering conspiracy theory and for relabeling "conspiracy theory". We propose (...)
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  • What Is a Conspiracy Theory and Why Does It Matter?Joseph E. Uscinski & Adam M. Enders - 2023 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 35 (1):148-169.
    Growing concern has been expressed that we have entered a “post-truth” era in which each of us willfully believes whatever we choose, aided and abetted by alternative and social media that spin alternative realities for boutique consumption. A prime example of the belief in alternative realities is said to be acceptance of “conspiracy theories”—a term that is often used as a pejorative to indict claims of conspiracy that are so obviously absurd that only the unhinged could believe them. The epistemological (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  • Being a Believer: Social Identity in Post-truth Political Discourse.Moritz A. Schulz & Simon Scheller - 2024 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Analyses of so-called ‘post-truth’ discourse in populist politics have so far largely focussed on sorting it into cases of lying, bullshitting, bubble-like epistemic constraints, or alternative epistemic norms flouting objective truth. We review these proposals and point out problems with each. Some scholars, however, have recently drawn attention to how apparent assertions of facts in these contexts seem to be functionally entangled with expressing or affirming social identities. To get a clearer picture of what such an explanation might amount to, (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • The seductions of clarity.C. Thi Nguyen - 2021 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 89:227-255.
    The feeling of clarity can be dangerously seductive. It is the feeling associated with understanding things. And we use that feeling, in the rough-and-tumble of daily life, as a signal that we have investigated a matter sufficiently. The sense of clarity functions as a thought-terminating heuristic. In that case, our use of clarity creates significant cognitive vulnerability, which hostile forces can try to exploit. If an epistemic manipulator can imbue a belief system with an exaggerated sense of clarity, then they (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   20 citations  
  • Unifying Group Rationality.Matthew Kopec - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6:517-544.
    Various social epistemologists employ what seem to be rather distinct notions of group rationality. In this essay, I offer an account of group rationality that is able to unify the dominant notions present in the literature under a single framework. I argue that if we employ a teleological account of epistemic rationality, and then allow that there are many different epistemic goals that are worth pursuing for various groups and individuals, we can then see how those seemingly divergent understandings of (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  • The Applied Epistemology of Official Stories.Tim Hayward - forthcoming - Social Epistemology.
    Is it generally rational to defer to official stories? On the affirmative view exemplified by Neil Levy, grounds for scepticism cannot outweigh the epistemic authority of the experts presumed to generate them. Yet sociological studies of how expertise is mediated into official communications reveal the epistemic potential of citizens’ collaboratives. These may include, or advocate hearing, dissident experts. Such groups’ epistemic position is arguably analogous to that of the ‘other institutions of civil society’ that Levy sees as underwriting the authority (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  • Do Conspiracies Tend to Fail? Philosophical Reflections on a Poorly Supported Academic Meme.Kurtis Hagen - 2023 - Episteme 20 (2):429-448.
    Critics of conspiracy theories often charge that such theories are implausible because conspiracies of the kind they allege tend to fail. Thus, according to these critics, conspiracy theories that have been around for a while would have been, in all likelihood, already exposed if they had been real. So, they reason, they probably are not. In this article, I maintain that the arguments in support of this view are unconvincing. I do so by examining a list of four sources recently (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  • Online Misinformation and “Phantom Patterns”: Epistemic Exploitation in the Era of Big Data.Megan Fritts & Frank Cabrera - 2021 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 60 (1):57-87.
    In this paper, we examine how the availability of massive quantities of data i.e., the “Big Data” phenomenon, contributes to the creation, spread, and harms of online misinformation. Specifically, we argue that a factor in the problem of online misinformation is the evolved human instinct to recognize patterns. While the pattern-recognition instinct is a crucial evolutionary adaptation, we argue that in the age of Big Data, these capacities have, unfortunately, rendered us vulnerable. Given the ways in which online media outlets (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  • Why We Should Be Suspicious of Conspiracy Theories: A Novel Demarcation Problem.Maarten Boudry - 2021 - Episteme:1-21.
    What, if anything, is wrong with conspiracy theories? A conspiracy refers to a group of people acting in secret to achieve some nefarious goal. Given that the pages of history are full of such plots, however, why are CTs often regarded with suspicion and even disdain? According to “particularism,” the currently dominant view among philosophers, each CT should be evaluated on its own merits and the negative reputation of CTs as a class is wholly undeserved. In this paper, I defend (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (7 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  • Playfulness versus epistemic traps.C. Thi Nguyen - 2022 - In Mark Alfano, Colin Klein & Jeroen de Ridder (eds.), Social Virtue Epistemology. Routledge.
    What is the value of intellectual playfulness? Traditional characterizations of the ideal thinker often leave out playfulness; the ideal inquirer is supposed to be sober, careful, and conscientiousness. But elsewhere we find another ideal: the laughing sage, the playful thinker. These are models of intellectual playfulness. Intellectual playfulness, I suggest, is the disposition to try out alternate belief systems for fun – to try on radically different perspectives for the sheer pleasure of it. But what would the cog-nitive value be (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations