Counterfact Conspiracy Theories

International Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (1):15-24 (2011)
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Abstract

Recent philosophical treatment of conspiracy theories supposes them all to be explanatory, thus overlooking those conspiracy theories whose major purpose is the assertion of ‘hidden facts’ rather than explanation of accepted facts. I call this variety of non-explanatory conspiracy theories “counterfact theories”. In this paper, through the use of examples, including the Obama birth certificate conspiracy theory, I uncover the distinctive reasoning pattern and dialectical strategy of counterfact theories, highlighting their epistemic flaws.

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Susan Feldman
Dickinson College

Citations of this work

Conspiracy Theories and Evidential Self-Insulation.M. Giulia Napolitano - 2021 - In Sven Bernecker, Amy K. Flowerree & Thomas Grundmann (eds.), The Epistemology of Fake News. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 82-105.

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