Some Conspiracy Theories

Social Epistemology (4):522-534 (2023)
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Abstract

A remarkable feature of the philosophical work on conspiracy theory theory has been that most philosophers agree there is nothing inherently problematic about conspiracy theories (AKA the thesis of particularism). Recent work, however, has challenged this consensus view, arguing that there really is something epistemically wrong with conspiracy theorising (AKA generalism). Are particularism and generalism incompatible? By looking at just how much particularists and generalists might have to give away to make their theoretical viewpoints compatible, I will argue that particularists can accept many of the concerns that motivate generalism because generalism can never be about ‘all’ conspiracy theories without being either ahistorical or apolitical. In the end generalist critiques are best seen as useful guidelines or considerations for the appraising of particular conspiracy theories.

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