Social Epistemology 30 (5-6):572-591 (2016)

Authors
M R. X. Dentith
University of Waikato
Abstract
Conspiracy theories are typically thought to be examples of irrational beliefs, and thus unlikely to be warranted. However, recent work in Philosophy has challenged the claim that belief in conspiracy theories is irrational, showing that in a range of cases, belief in conspiracy theories is warranted. However, it is still often said that conspiracy theories are unlikely relative to non-conspiratorial explanations which account for the same phenomena. However, such arguments turn out to rest upon how we define what gets counted both as a ‘conspiracy’ and a ‘conspiracy theory’, and such arguments rest upon shaky assumptions. It turns out that it is not clear that conspiracy theories are prima facie unlikely, and so the claim that such theories do not typically appear in our accounts of the best explanations for particular kinds of events needs to be reevaluated.
Keywords conspiracy theories  inference to the best explanation
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DOI 10.1080/02691728.2016.1172362
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References found in this work BETA

Conjectures and Refutations.Karl R. Popper - 1968 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 19 (2):159-168.
Inference to the Best Explanation.Jonathan Vogel - 1993 - Philosophical Review 102 (3):419.
Of Conspiracy Theories.Brian L. Keeley - 1999 - Journal of Philosophy 96 (3):109-126.
Popper Revisited, or What is Wrong with Conspiracy Theories?Charles Pigden - 1995 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 25 (1):3-34.

View all 13 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Problem of Conspiracism.Matthew R. X. Dentith - 2018 - Argumenta 3 (2):327-343.
Expertise and Conspiracy Theories.M. R. X. Dentith - 2018 - Social Epistemology 32 (3):196-208.
Secrecy and Conspiracy.Matthew R. X. Dentith & Martin Orr - 2017 - Episteme 15 (4):433-450.
Treating Conspiracy Theories Seriously: A Reply to Basham on Dentith.Matthew R. X. Dentith - 2016 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 5 (9):1-5.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

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