Synthese 196 (6):2243-2261 (2019)

Authors
M R. X. Dentith
University of Waikato
Abstract
Conspiracy theories are often portrayed as unwarranted beliefs, typically supported by suspicious kinds of evidence. Yet contemporary work in Philosophy argues provisional belief in conspiracy theories is—at the very—least understandable and if we take an evidential approach—judging individual conspiracy theories on their particular merits—belief in such theories turns out to be warranted in a range of cases. Drawing on this work, I examine the kinds of evidence typically associated with conspiracy theories, showing that the evidential problems typically associated with conspiracy theories are not unique to such theories. As such, if there is a problem with the conspiracy theorist’s use of evidence, it is one of principle: is the principle which guides their use of evidence somehow in error? I argue that whatever we might think about conspiracy theories generally, there is no prima facie case for a scepticism of conspiracy theories based purely on their use of evidence.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-017-1532-7
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References found in this work BETA

Vice Epistemology.Quassim Cassam - 2016 - The Monist 99 (2):159-180.
The Open Society and its Enemies.Karl R. Popper - 1952 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 142:629-634.
The Problem of Conspiracism.Matthew R. X. Dentith - 2018 - Argumenta 3 (2):327-343.
Secrecy and Conspiracy.Matthew R. X. Dentith & Martin Orr - 2017 - Episteme 15 (4):433-450.

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Citations of this work BETA

Should Academics Debunk Conspiracy Theories?Kurtis Hagen - 2020 - Social Epistemology 34 (5):423-439.
Unifying Group Rationality.Matthew Kopec - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6:517-544.

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The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories.Matthew Dentith - 2014 - London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
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Conspiracy Theories and Official Stories.David Coady - 2003 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 17 (2):197-209.

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