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  1. Conspiracy Theories and Conspiracy Theorizing.Steve Clarke - 2002 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 32 (2):131-150.
    The dismissive attitude of intellectuals toward conspiracy theorists is considered and given some justification. It is argued that intellectuals are entitled to an attitude of prima facie skepticism toward the theories propounded by conspiracy theorists, because conspiracy theorists have an irrational tendency to continue to believe in conspiracy theories, even when these take on the appearance of forming the core of degenerating research program. It is further argued that the pervasive effect of the "fundamental attribution error" can explain the behavior (...)
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  • Of Conspiracy Theories.Brian L. Keeley - 1999 - Journal of Philosophy 96 (3):109-126.
    As the end of the Millennium approaches, conspiracy theories are increasing in number and popularity. In this short essay, I offer an analysis of conspiracy theories inspired by Hume's discussion of miracles. My first conclusion is that whereas Hume can argue that miracles are, by definition, explanations we are not warranted in believing, there is nothing analytic that will allow us to distinguish good from bad conspiracy theories. There is no a priori method for distinguishing warranted conspiracy theories (say, those (...)
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  • Counterfact Conspiracy Theories.Susan Feldman - 2011 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (1):15-24.
    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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  • Popper Revisited, or What is Wrong with Conspiracy Theories?Charles Pigden - 1995 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 25 (1):3-34.
    Conpiracy theories are widely deemed to be superstitious. Yet history appears to be littered with conspiracies successful and otherwise. (For this reason, "cock-up" theories cannot in general replace conspiracy theories, since in many cases the cock-ups are simply failed conspiracies.) Why then is it silly to suppose that historical events are sometimes due to conspiracy? The only argument available to this author is drawn from the work of the late Sir Karl Popper, who criticizes what he calls "the conspiracy theory (...)
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  • Conspiracy Theories and the Conventional Wisdom Revisited.Charles Pigden - forthcoming - In Olli Loukola (ed.), Secrets and Conspiracies. Rodopi.
    Conspiracy theories should be neither believed nor investigated - that is the conventional wisdom. I argue that it is sometimes permissible both to investigate and to believe. Hence this is a dispute in the ethics of belief. I defend epistemic ‘oughts’ that apply in the first instance to belief-forming strategies that are partly under our control. I argue that the policy of systematically doubting or disbelieving conspiracy theories would be both a political disaster and the epistemic equivalent of self-mutilation, since (...)
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  • Inference to the Best Explanation.Jonathan Vogel - 1993 - Philosophical Review 102 (3):419.
  • The Ethics of Conspiracy Theorizing.Juha Räikkä - 2009 - Journal of Value Inquiry 43 (4):457-468.
  • Shit Happens.Pete Mandik - 2007 - Episteme 4 (2):205-218.
    Abstract In this paper I embrace what Brian Keeley calls in “Of Conspiracy Theories” the absurdist horn of the dilemma for philosophers who criticize such theories. I thus defend the view that there is indeed something deeply epistemically wrong with conspiracy theorizing. My complaint is that conspiracy theories apply intentional explanations to situations that give rise to special problems concerning the elimination of competing intentional explanations.
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  • Radically Socialized Knowledge and Conspiracy Theories.Neil Levy - 2007 - Episteme 4 (2):181-192.
    Abstract The typical explanation of an event or process which attracts the label ‘conspiracy theory’ is an explanation that conflicts with the account advanced by the relevant epistemic authorities. I argue that both for the layperson and for the intellectual, it is almost never rational to accept such a conspiracy theory. Knowledge is not merely shallowly social, in the manner recognized by social epistemology, it is also constitutively social: many kinds of knowledge only become accessible thanks to the agent's embedding (...)
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  • Conspiracy Theories and the Internet: Controlled Demolition and Arrested Development.Steve Clarke - 2007 - Episteme 4 (2):167-180.
    Abstract Following Clarke (2002), a Lakatosian approach is used to account for the epistemic development of conspiracy theories. It is then argued that the hypercritical atmosphere of the internet has slowed down the development of conspiracy theories, discouraging conspiracy theorists from articulating explicit versions of their favoured theories, which could form the hard core of Lakatosian research pro grammes. The argument is illustrated with a study of the “controlled demolition” theory of the collapse of three towers at the World Trade (...)
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  • Are Conspiracy Theorists Irrational?David Coady - 2007 - Episteme 4 (2):193-204.
    Abstract It is widely believed that to be a conspiracy theorist is to suffer from a form of irrationality. After considering the merits and defects of a variety of accounts of what it is to be a conspiracy theorist, I draw three conclusions. One, on the best definitions of what it is to be a conspiracy theorist, conspiracy theorists do not deserve their reputation for irrationality. Two, there may be occasions on which we should settle for an inferior definition which (...)
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  • Conspiracy Theories and Fortuitous Data.J. Buenting & J. Taylor - 2010 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 40 (4):567-578.
    We offer a particularist defense of conspiratorial thinking. We explore the possibility that the presence of a certain kind of evidence—what we call "fortuitous data"—lends rational credence to conspiratorial thinking. In developing our argument, we introduce conspiracy theories and motivate our particularist approach (§1). We then introduce and define fortuitous data (§2). Lastly, we locate an instance of fortuitous data in one real world conspiracy, the Watergate scandal (§3).
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  • Conjectures and Refutations.Karl R. Popper - 1968 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 19 (2):159-168.
     
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