The Problem of Conspiracism

Argumenta 3 (2):327-343 (2018)
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Abstract

Belief in conspiracy theories is typically considered irrational, and as a consequence of this, conspiracy theorists––those who dare believe some conspiracy theory––have been charged with a variety of epistemic or psychological failings. Yet recent philosophical work has challenged the view that belief in conspiracy theories should be considered as typically irrational. By performing an intra-group analysis of those people we call “conspiracy theorists”, we find that the problematic traits commonly ascribed to the general group of conspiracy theorists turn out to be merely a set of stereotypical behaviours and thought patterns associated with a purported subset of that group. If we understand that the supposed prob- lem of belief in conspiracy theories is centred on the beliefs of this purported sub- set––the conspiracists––then we can reconcile the recent philosophical contribu- tions to the wider academic debate on the rationality of belief in conspiracy theories.

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Author's Profile

M R. X. Dentith
Beijing Normal University

Citations of this work

Echo Chambers and Epistemic Bubbles.C. Thi Nguyen - 2020 - Episteme 17 (2):141-161.
The Seductions of Clarity.C. Thi Nguyen - 2021 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 89:227-255.
Rethinking conspiracy theories.Matthew Shields - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-29.

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References found in this work

Vice Epistemology.Quassim Cassam - 2016 - The Monist 99 (2):159-180.
Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures.Cass R. Sunstein & Adrian Vermeule - 2009 - Journal of Political Philosophy 17 (2):202-227.
Conspiracy Theories and Fortuitous Data.Joel Buenting & Jason Taylor - 2010 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 40 (4):567-578.
Are Conspiracy Theorists Irrational?David Coady - 2007 - Episteme 4 (2):193-204.

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