Results for 'Conspiracy Theories '

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  1. Conspiracy Theories and Evidential Self-Insulation.M. Giulia Napolitano - 2021 - In Sven Bernecker, Amy K. Flowerree & Thomas Grundmann (eds.), The Epistemology of Fake News. Oxford University Press. pp. 82-105.
    What are conspiracy theories? And what, if anything, is epistemically wrong with them? I offer an account on which conspiracy theories are a unique way of holding a belief in a conspiracy. Specifically, I take conspiracy theories to be self-insulating beliefs in conspiracies. On this view, conspiracy theorists have their conspiratorial beliefs in a way that is immune to revision by counter-evidence. I argue that conspiracy theories are always irrational. Although (...)
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  2. 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 (...)
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  3. Conspiracy Theory and the Perils of Pure Particularism.Patrick Stokes - 2018 - In M. R. X. Dentith (ed.), Taking Conspiracy Theories Seriously. London: Rowman and Littlefield. pp. 25-37.
    The epistemological literature on conspiracy theory has established that strict generalism about conspiracy theories is untenable. This chapter argues, however, that this does not license a move to naive or strict particularism. Rather, any consideration of specific conspiracy claims needs to address conspiracy theory not simply as a formal category of explanation, but as a distinctive social practice, with a history and explanatory repertoire that can give us important, if defeasible, reasons for rejecting at least (...)
     
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  4. Rethinking conspiracy theories.Matthew Shields - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-29.
    I argue that that an influential strategy for understanding conspiracy theories stands in need of radical revision. According to this approach, called ‘generalism’, conspiracy theories are epistemically defective by their very nature. Generalists are typically opposed by particularists, who argue that conspiracy theories should be judged case-by-case, rather than definitionally indicted. Here I take a novel approach to criticizing generalism. I introduce a distinction between ‘Dominant Institution Conspiracy Theories and Theorists’ and ‘Non-Dominant (...)
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    Conspiracy Theories and Rational Critique: A Kantian Procedural Approach.Janis David Schaab - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    This paper develops a new kind of approach to conspiracy theories – a procedural approach. This approach promises to establish that belief in conspiracy theories is rationally criticisable in general. Unlike most philosophical approaches, a procedural approach does not purport to condemn conspiracy theorists directly on the basis of features of their theories. Instead, it focuses on the patterns of thought involved in forming and sustaining belief in such theories. Yet, unlike psychological approaches, (...)
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  6. Conspiracy Theories, Deplorables, and Defectibility: A Reply to Patrick Stokes.Charles R. Pigden - 2018 - In M. R. X. Dentith (ed.), Taking Conspiracy Theories Seriously. London: Rowman and Littlefield. pp. 203-215.
    Patrick Stokes has argued that although many conspiracy theories are true, we should reject the policy of particularism (that is, the policy of investigating conspiracy theories if they are plausible and believing them if that is what the evidence suggests) and should instead adopt a policy of principled skepticism, subjecting conspiracy theories – or at least the kinds of theories that are generally derided as such – to much higher epistemic standards than their (...)
     
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  7. Suspicious conspiracy theories.M. R. X. Dentith - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-14.
    Conspiracy theories and conspiracy theorists have been accused of a great many sins, but are the conspiracy theories conspiracy theorists believe epistemically problematic? Well, according to some recent work, yes, they are. Yet a number of other philosophers like Brian L. Keeley, Charles Pigden, Kurtis Hagen, Lee Basham, and the like have argued ‘No!’ I will argue that there are features of certain conspiracy theories which license suspicion of such theories. I (...)
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  8. Conspiracy Theories and the Conventional Wisdom.Charles Pigden - 2007 - Episteme 4 (2):219-232.
    Abstract 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. But the beliefforming strategy of not believing conspiracy theories would be a political disaster and the epistemic equivalent of selfmutilation. (...)
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  9. Conspiracy theories on the basis of the evidence.Matthew Dentith - 2017 - Synthese:1-19.
    Conspiracy theories are often portrayed as unwarranted beliefs, typically supported by suspicious kinds of evidence. Yet contemporary work in Philosophy argues provisional belief in conspiracy theories is at the very least understandable---because conspiracies occur---and that if we take an evidential approach, judging individual conspiracy theories on their particular merits, belief in such theories turns out to be warranted in a range of cases. -/- Drawing on this work, I examine the kinds of evidence (...)
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  10.  96
    Conspiracy Theories Are Not Beliefs.Julia Duetz - 2022 - Erkenntnis:1-15.
    Napolitano (2021) argues that the Minimalist Account of conspiracy theories—i.e., which defines conspiracy theories as explanations, or theories, about conspiracies—should be rejected. Instead, she proposes to define conspiracy theories as a certain kind of belief—i.e., an evidentially self-insulated belief in a conspiracy. Napolitano argues that her account should be favored over the Minimalist Account based on two considerations: ordinary language intuitions and theoretical fruitfulness. I show how Napolitano’s account fails its own purposes (...)
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    Conspiracy Theories.Quassim Cassam - 2019 - Polity Press.
    9/11 was an inside job. The Holocaust is a myth promoted to serve Jewish interests. The shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School were a false flag operation. Climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese government. These are all conspiracy theories. A glance online or at bestseller lists reveals how popular some of them are. Even if there is plenty of evidence to disprove them, people persist in propagating them. Why? Philosopher Quassim Cassam explains how conspiracy (...)
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  12. 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 (...)
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  13. Conspiracy Theories.Marc Pauly - 2020 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Conspiracy Theories The term “conspiracy theory” refers to a theory or explanation that features a conspiracy among a group of agents as a central ingredient. Popular examples are the theory that the first moon landing was a hoax staged by NASA, or the theory that the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center were not … Continue reading Conspiracy Theories →.
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  14.  41
    Taking Conspiracy Theories Seriously.Matthew R. X. Dentith (ed.) - 2018 - Rowman & Littlefield International.
    The contributors to this volume argue that whilst there is a commonplace superstition conspiracy theories are examples of bad beliefs (and that the kind of people who believe conspiracy theories are typically irrational), many conspiracy theories are rational to believe: the members of the Dewey Commission were right to say that the Moscow Trials of the 1930s were a sham; Woodward and Bernstein were correct to think that Nixon was complicit in the conspiracy (...)
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  15.  13
    Conspiracy Theories: A Primer.Joseph E. Uscinski - 2020 - Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
    While engaging in rich discussion, Conspiracy Theories analyzes current arguments and evidence while providing real-world examples so students can contextualize and visualize the debates. Each chapter addresses important current questions, provides conceptual tools, defines important terms, and introduces the appropriate methods of analysis.
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  16. Debunking conspiracy theories.M. R. X. Dentith - 2021 - Synthese 198 (10):9897-9911.
    In this paper I interrogate the notion of `debunking conspiracy theories’, arguing that the term `debunk’ carries with it pejorative implications, given that the verb `to debunk’ is commonly understood as `to show the wrongness of a thing or concept’. As such, the notion of `debunking conspiracy theories’ builds in the notion that such theories are not just wrong but ought to be shown as being wrong. I argue that we should avoid the term `debunk’ (...)
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  17. The Conspiracy Theory Theorists and Their Attitude Towards Conspiracy Theory—Introduction to Section Two.M. R. X. Dentith - 2018 - In Taking Conspiracy Theories Seriously. London: Rowman and Littlefield. pp. 73-77.
    An introduction to section two, which introduces and summarises two recent critiques of belief in conspiracy theories by social scientists, as well as introducing the various arguments in the section.
     
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  18. Taking conspiracy theories seriously and investigating them.M. R. X. Dentith - 2018 - In Taking Conspiracy Theories Seriously. London: Rowman and Littlefield. pp. 217-225.
    In this concluding chapter Dentith presents a synthesis of the views on offer, arguing that the various philosophical, sociological and psychology theses defended in this section point towards a necessary reorientation of the literature, one which requires we purge public discourse of the pejorative aspects of the terms ‘conspiracy theory’ and ‘conspiracy theorist’ and, rather, engage with conspiracy theories as theories (like we do with theories in the Sciences and the Social Sciences) appraising them (...)
     
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  19. Conspiracy theories on the basis of the evidence.M. Dentith - 2019 - Synthese 196 (6):2243-2261.
    Conspiracy theories are often portrayed as unwarranted beliefs, typically supported by suspicious kinds of evidence. Yet contemporary work in Philosophy argues provisional belief in conspiracy theories is—at the very—least understandable and if we take an evidential approach—judging individual conspiracy theories on their particular merits—belief in such theories turns out to be warranted in a range of cases. Drawing on this work, I examine the kinds of evidence typically associated with conspiracy theories, (...)
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  20.  18
    Are ‘Conspiracy Theories’ So Unlikely to Be True? A Critique of Quassim Cassam’s Concept of ‘Conspiracy Theories’.Kurtis Hagen - 2022 - Social Epistemology 36 (3):329-343.
    The philosopher Quassim Cassam has described a concept called ‘Conspiracy Theories’ (capitalized) that includes several ‘special features’ that distinguish such theories from other theories positing conspiracies. Conspiracy Theories, he argues, are unlikely to be true. Indeed, he implies that they are, as a class of ideas, so unlikely to be true that we are justified in responding to them by criticizing the ideology they are (presumed to be) associated with, rather than engaging them solely (...)
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  21. 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 (...)
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  22. Conspiracy theories: Causes and cures.Cass R. Sunstein & Adrian Vermeule - 2009 - Journal of Political Philosophy 17 (2):202-227.
    Many millions of people hold conspiracy theories; they believe that powerful people have worked together in order to withhold the truth about some important practice or some terrible event. A recent example is the belief, widespread in some parts of the world, that the attacks of 9/11 were carried out not by Al Qaeda, but by Israel or the United States. Those who subscribe to conspiracy theories may create serious risks, including risks of violence, and the (...)
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  23. The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories.Matthew Dentith - 2014 - London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
    Conspiracy theories are a popular topic of conversation in everyday life but are often frowned upon in academic discussions. Looking at the recent spate of philosophical interest in conspiracy theories, The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories looks at whether the assumption that belief in conspiracy theories is typically irrational is well founded.
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  24. 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.
    A response to Lee Basham's 'The Need for Accountable Witnesses: A Reply to Dentith'.
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  25. Conspiracy Theories and Official Stories.David Coady - 2003 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 17 (2):197-209.
    Conspiracy theories have a bad reputation. This is especially true in the academy and in the media. Within these institutions, to describe someone as a conspiracy theorist is often to imply that his or her views should not be taken seriously. Perhaps this accounts for the fact that philosophers have tended to ignore the topic, despite the enduring appeal of conspiracy theories in popular culture. Recently, however, some philosophers have at least treated conspiracy theorists (...)
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  26. Conspiracy Theories and Their Investigator(s).R. X. Dentith Matthew - 2017 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 6 (4):4-11.
    A reply to Patrick Stokes' 'Reluctance and Suspicion'—itself a reply to an early piece by myself replying to Stokes—in which I clarify what it is I intend when talking about how we should investigate conspiracy theories.
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  27. Conspiracy theories, populism, and epistemic autonomy.Keith Raymond Harris - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association:1-16.
    Quassim Cassam has argued that psychological and epistemological analyses of conspiracy theories threaten to overlook the political nature of such theories. According to Cassam, conspiracy theories are a form of political propaganda. I develop a limited critique of Cassam's analysis. -/- This paper advances two core theses. First, acceptance of conspiracy theories requires a rejection of epistemic authority that renders conspiracy theorists susceptible to co-option by certain political programs while insulating such programs (...)
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  28. Conspiracy Theories and Ethics.Juha Räikkä - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 50:651-659.
    Political conspiracy theorists have done a lot of good in the past; undoubtedly they will do a lot of good in the future too. However, it is important to point out that conspiracy theories may have adverse consequences too. Political conspiracy theorizing, as a public activity, may lead to harmful scapegoating and its implications may be racist and fascist rather than democratic. Conspiracy theories may undermine trust in political institutions. Certain conspiracy theories (...)
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  29.  86
    Conspiracy Theories and the Paranoid Style: Do Conspiracy Theories Posit Implausibly Vast and Evil Conspiracies?Kurtis Hagen - 2018 - Social Epistemology 32 (1):24-40.
    In the social science literature, conspiracy theories are commonly characterized as theories positing a vast network of evil and preternaturally effective conspirators, and they are often treated, either explicitly or implicitly, as dubious on this basis. This characterization is based on Richard Hofstadter’s famous account of ‘the paranoid style’. However, many significant conspiracy theories do not have any of the relevant qualities. Thus, the social science literature provides a distorted account of the general category ‘ (...) theory’, conflating it with a subset of that category that encourages unfairly negative evaluations of conspiracy theories. Generally, when evaluating theories, one should focus on the most plausible versions; the merit of a theory is independent of the existence of less plausible versions of it. By ignoring this and glossing over important distinctions, many academics, especially in the social sciences, have misclassified many conspiracy theories and in doing so have contributed to an epistemically unfair depiction of them. Further, even theories that genuinely fit the description of ‘the paranoid style’ cannot be completely dismissed on that basis. All conspiracy theories ought to be judged on the totality of their individual merits. (shrink)
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  30. Conspiracy Theories: The Philosophical Debate.David Coady (ed.) - 2006 - Ashgate.
    Conspiracy theories have a bad reputation. In the past, most philosophers have ignored the topic, vaguely supposing that conspiracy theories are obviously irrational and that they can be easily dismissed. The current philosophical interest in the subject results from a realisation that this is not so. Some philosophers have taken up the challenge of identifying and explaining the flaws of conspiracy theories. Other philosophers have argued that conspiracy theories do not deserve their (...)
  31.  87
    Conspiracy theories and reasonable pluralism.Matej Cíbik & Pavol Hardoš - 2020 - European Journal of Political Theory 21 (3):147488511989923.
    The popularity of conspiracy theories poses a clear challenge for contemporary liberal democracies. Conspiracy theories undermine rational debate, spread dangerous falsehoods and threaten social co...
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    Conspiracy theories and reasonable pluralism.Matej Cíbik & Pavol Hardoš - 2022 - European Journal of Political Theory 21 (3):445-465.
    The popularity of conspiracy theories poses a clear challenge for contemporary liberal democracies. Conspiracy theories undermine rational debate, spread dangerous falsehoods and threaten social cohesion. However, any possible public policy response, which would try to contain their spread, needs to respect the liberal commitment to protect pluralism and free speech. A successful justification of such a policy must therefore: 1) clearly identify the problematic class of conspiracy theories; and 2) clarify the grounds on which (...)
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  33. Conspiracy Theories and Fortuitous Data.Joel Buenting & Jason 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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  34. 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 (...)
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  35. Conspiracy theories of quantum mechanics.Peter J. Lewis - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (2):359-381.
    It has long been recognized that a local hidden variable theory of quantum mechanics can in principle be constructed, provided one is willing to countenance pre-measurement correlations between the properties of measured systems and measuring devices. However, this ‘conspiratorial’ approach is typically dismissed out of hand. In this article I examine the justification for dismissing conspiracy theories of quantum mechanics. I consider the existing arguments against such theories, and find them to be less than conclusive. I suggest (...)
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  36.  3
    Conspiracy Theories: Philosophers Connect the Dots.Richard Greene & Rachel Robison-Greene (eds.) - 2020
    An assortment of different points of view on conspiracy thinking and conspiracy theories, pro and con.
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  37.  4
    Conspiracy Theories: The Philosophical Debate.David Coady - 2006 - Routledge.
    Conspiracy theories have historically had a bad reputation, with many philosophers dismissing the topic as irrational. Current philosophical debate has challenged this stance, suggesting that these theories do not deserve their bad reputation. This book represents both sides of the debate. Aimed at a broad philosophical community, including epistemologists, political philosophers, and philosophers of history, this book is a significant contribution to the growing interest in conspiracy theories.
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  38. 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 (...)
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  39. Expertise and Conspiracy Theories.M. R. X. Dentith - 2018 - Social Epistemology 32 (3):196-208.
    Judging the warrant of conspiracy theories can be difficult, and often we rely upon what the experts tell us when it comes to assessing whether particular conspiracy theories ought to be believed. However, whereas there are recognised experts in the sciences, I argue that only are is no such associated expertise when it comes to the things we call `conspiracy theories,' but that the conspiracy theorist has good reason to be suspicious of the (...)
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    Medical conspiracy theories: cognitive science and implications for ethics.Gabriel Andrade - 2020 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 23 (3):505-518.
    Although recent trends in politics and media make it appear that conspiracy theories are on the rise, in fact they have always been present, probably because they are sustained by natural dispositions of the human brain. This is also the case with medical conspiracy theories. This article reviews some of the most notorious health-related conspiracy theories. It then approaches the reasons why people believe these theories, using concepts from cognitive science. On the basis (...)
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    Conspiracy Theory: Truth Claim or Language Game?Ole Bjerg & Thomas Presskorn-Thygesen - 2017 - Theory, Culture and Society 34 (1):137-159.
    The paper is a contribution to current debates about conspiracy theories within philosophy and cultural studies. Wittgenstein’s understanding of language is invoked to analyse the epistemological effects of designating particular questions and explanations as a ‘conspiracy theory’. It is demonstrated how such a designation relegates these questions and explanations beyond the realm of meaningful discourse. In addition, Agamben’s concept of sovereignty is applied to explore the political effects of using the concept of conspiracy theory. The exceptional (...)
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  42.  56
    Conspiracy Theories and Religion: Reframing Conspiracy Theories as Bliks.Glenn Y. Bezalel - forthcoming - Episteme:1-19.
    Conspiracy theories have largely been framed by the academy as a stigmatised form of knowledge. Yet recent scholarship has included calls to take conspiracy theories more seriously as an area of study with a desire to judge them on their own merits rather than an a priori dismissal of them as a class of explanation. This paper argues that the debates within the philosophy of religion, long overlooked by scholars of conspiracy theories, can help (...)
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    Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures *: Symposium on Conspiracy Theories.Cassr Sunstein - 2009 - Journal of Political Philosophy 17 (2):202-227.
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  44. Of conspiracy theories.K. Brian - 1999 - Journal of Philosophy 96 (1):109-126.
     
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  45. Conspiracy theories, impostor syndrome, and distrust.Katherine Hawley - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (4):969-980.
    Conspiracy theorists believe that powerful agents are conspiring to achieve their nefarious aims and also to orchestrate a cover-up. People who suffer from impostor syndrome believe that they are not talented enough for the professional positions they find themselves in, and that they risk being revealed as inadequate. These are quite different outlooks on reality, and there is no reason to think that they are mutually reinforcing. Nevertheless, there are intriguing parallels between the patterns of trust and distrust which (...)
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  46. Conspiracy Theories.Jared A. Millson - 2020 - 1000wordphilosophy.Com.
  47. The applied epistemology of conspiracy theories: An overview.M. R. X. Dentith & Brian L. Keeley - 2018 - In David Coady & James Chase (eds.), Routledge Handbook on Applied Epistemology. Abingdon: Routledge. pp. 284-294.
    An overview of the current epistemic literature concerning conspiracy theories, as well as indications for future research avenues on the topic.
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  48.  57
    The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theory: Bringing the Epistemology of a Freighted Term into the Social Sciences.M. R. X. Dentith - 2018 - In Joseph Uscinski (ed.), Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 94-108.
    An analysis of the recent efforts to define what counts as a "conspiracy theory", in which I argue that the philosophical and non-pejorative definition best captures the phenomenon researchers of conspiracy theory wish to interrogate.
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  49. Social science's conspiracy theory panic: Now they want to cure everyone.Lee Basham & Matthew Dentith - 2016 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 5 (10):12-19.
    A response to a declaration in 'Le Monde', 'Luttons efficacement contre les théories du complot' by Gérald Bronner, Véronique Campion-Vincent, Sylvain Delouvée, Sebastian Dieguez, Karen Douglas, Nicolas Gauvrit, Anthony Lantian, and Pascal Wagner-Egger, published on June the 6th, 2016.
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  50.  73
    Conspiracy Theories as Stigmatized Knowledge.Michael Barkun - 2016 - Diogenes:039219211666928.
    Most conspiracy theories exist as part of “stigmatized knowledge” – that is, knowledge claims that have not been accepted by those institutions we rely upon for truth validation. Not uncommonly, be...
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