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  1. Dimensions of Conspiracy: Toward a Unifying Framework for Understanding Conspiracy Theory Belief.Melina Tsapos - manuscript
    Researchers have argued that believing in conspiracy theories is dangerous and harmful, both for the individual and the community. In the philosophical debate, the divide is between the generalists, who argue that conspiracy theories are prima facie problematic, and the particularists, who argue that since conspiracies do occur, we ought to take conspiracy theories seriously, and consider them on merit. Much of the empirical research has focused on correlations between conspiracy belief and personality traits, such as narcissism, illusory pattern perception, (...)
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  2. Denying the existence of consensus or denying its probative value? A critique of McIntyre’s proposal concerning science denial.Claudio Cormick & Valeria Edelsztein - forthcoming - Principia.
    In this article, we try to argue, against McIntyre’s proposal in How to talk to a science denier, that there is a relevant difference between various forms of science denialism. Specifically, we contend that there is a significant distinction to be made between those forms of denialism which deny the existence of an expert consensus (the model of which is the strategy of the tobacco companies in the 1950s) and those which deny the probatory value of such expert consensus (on (...)
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  3. Is conspiracy theory a case of conceptual domination?M. Giulia Napolitano & Kevin Https://Orcidorg Reuter - forthcoming - .
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  4. Intellectual Virtue Signaling and (Non)Expert Credibility.Keith Raymond Harris - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association:1-17.
    In light of the complexity of some important matters, the best epistemic strategy for laypersons is often to rely heavily on the judgments of subject matter experts. However, given the contentiousness of some issues and the existence of fake experts, determining who to trust from the lay perspective is no simple matter. One proposed approach is for laypersons to attend to displays of intellectual virtue as indicators of expertise. I argue that this strategy is likely to fail, as non-experts often (...)
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  5. False Authorities.Christoph Jäger - forthcoming - Acta Analytica:1-19.
    An epistemic agent A is a false epistemic authority for others iff they falsely believe A to be in a position to help them accomplish their epistemic ends. A major divide exists between what I call "epistemic quacks", who falsely believe themselves to be relevantly competent, and "epistemic charlatans", i.e., false authorities who believe or even know that they are incompetent. Both types of false authority do not cover what Lackey (2021) calls "predatory experts": experts who systematically misuse their social-epistemic (...)
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  6. Conspiracy theories are not theories: Time to rename conspiracy theories.Kevin Reuter & Lucien Baumgartner - forthcoming - In Manuel Gustavo Isaac, Steffen Koch & Kevin Scharp (eds.), New Perspectives on Conceptual Engineering. Springer.
    This paper presents the results of two corpus studies investigating the discourse surrounding conspiracy theories and genuine theories. The results of these studies show that conspiracy theories lack the epistemic and scientific standing characteristic of theories more generally. Instead, our findings indicate that conspiracy theories are spread in a manner that resembles the dissemination of rumors and falsehoods. Based on these empirical results, we argue that it is time for both re-engineering conspiracy theory and for relabeling "conspiracy theory". We propose (...)
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  7. Can You Keep a Secret? BS Conspiracy Theories and the Argument from Loose Lips.Ryan Ross - forthcoming - Episteme:1-20.
    According to an argument that I will call the argument from loose lips, we can safely reject certain notorious conspiracy theories because they posit conspiracies that would be nearly impossible to keep secret. I distinguish between three versions of this argument: the epistemic argument, the alethic argument, and the statistical argument. I, then, discuss several limitations of the argument from loose lips. The first limitation is that only the statistical argument can be applied to new conspiracy theories. The second limitation (...)
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  8. 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, a procedural approach provides a rational critique (...)
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  9. Conspiracy Theorist's World and Genealogy.Nader Shoaibi - forthcoming - Social Epistemology.
    Conspiracy theories pose a serious threat to our society these days. People often dismiss conspiracy theory believers as at best gullible, or more often unintelligent. However, there are cases in which individuals end up believing conspiracy theories out of no epistemic fault of their own. In this paper, I want to offer a diagnosis of the problem by focusing on the genealogy of the conspiracy theory beliefs. Drawing on a novel interpretation of Nietzsche’s use of genealogies, I argue that the (...)
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  10. Genius Malignus oder Verantwortung: Descartes und die Konspirologie.Albert Dikovich - 2024 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 78 (1):130-156.
    This paper aims at developing an understanding of conspirational thinking as a means for dealing with epistemic and practical insecurity. This strategy of coping with insecurity results in the construction of a metaphysical system, which is centered around the idea of a nearly omnipotent conspirator. The paper argues that there is a relatedness between the Cartesian cogito and conspirational thinking. The latter can be conceived of as an aberration from the philosophical search for a fundamentum inconcussum. After the relevance of (...)
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  11. Misinformation, Content Moderation, and Epistemology: Protecting Knowledge.Keith Raymond Harris - 2024 - Routledge.
    This book argues that misinformation poses a multi-faceted threat to knowledge, while arguing that some forms of content moderation risk exacerbating these threats. It proposes alternative forms of content moderation that aim to address this complexity while enhancing human epistemic agency. The proliferation of fake news, false conspiracy theories, and other forms of misinformation on the internet and especially social media is widely recognized as a threat to individual knowledge and, consequently, to collective deliberation and democracy itself. This book argues (...)
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  12. Conspiracy theories, epistemic self-identity, and epistemic territory.Daniel Munro - 2024 - Synthese 203 (4):1-28.
    This paper seeks to carve out a distinctive category of conspiracy theorist, and to explore the process of becoming a conspiracy theorist of this sort. Those on whom I focus claim their beliefs trace back to simply trusting their senses and experiences in a commonsensical way, citing what they take to be authoritative firsthand evidence or observations. Certain flat Earthers, anti-vaxxers, and UFO conspiracy theorists, for example, describe their beliefs and evidence this way. I first distinguish these conspiracy theorists by (...)
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  13. Wat betekent het dat complottheorieën mainstream worden.Massimiliano Simons - 2024 - Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte 116 (1):39-54.
    What it means for conspiracy theories to become mainstream In debates about conspiracy theories, it is often claimed that conspiracy thinking is on the rise or has even become mainstream. In this article, I want to explore this claim conceptually, and argue that there are at least three ways to interpret the claim that ‘conspiracy thinking has become mainstream’. First, there is the individual level, where it is a matter of counting heads. Mainstream then means that the majority believes in (...)
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  14. Betting on Conspiracy: A Decision Theoretic Account of the Rationality of Conspiracy Theory Belief.Melina Tsapos - 2024 - Erkenntnis 89 (2):1-19.
    The question of the rationality of conspiratorial belief ¬divides philosophers into mainly two camps. The particularists believe that each conspiracy theory ought to be examined on its own merits. The generalist, by contrast, argues that there is something inherently suspect about conspiracy theories that makes belief in them irrational. Recent empirical findings indicate that conspiratorial thinking is commonplace among ordinary people, which has naturally shifted attention to the particularists. Yet, even the particularist must agree that not all conspiracy belief is (...)
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  15. On the origin of conspiracy theories.Patrick Brooks - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (12):3279-3299.
    Conspiracy theories are rather a popular topic these days, and a lot has been written on things like the meaning of _conspiracy theory_, whether it’s ever rational to believe conspiracy theories, and on the psychology and demographics of people who believe conspiracy theories. But very little has been said about why people might be led to posit conspiracy theories in the first place. This paper aims to fill this lacuna. In particular, I shall argue that, in open democratic societies, citizens (...)
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  16. Conspiracy theory as heresy.David Coady - 2023 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 55 (7):756-759.
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  17. Some Conspiracy Theories.M. R. X. Dentith - 2023 - Social Epistemology (4):522-534.
    A remarkable feature of the philosophical work on conspiracy theory theory has been that most philosophers agree there is nothing inherently problematic about conspiracy theories (AKA the thesis of particularism). Recent work, however, has challenged this consensus view, arguing that there really is something epistemically wrong with conspiracy theorising (AKA generalism). Are particularism and generalism incompatible? By looking at just how much particularists and generalists might have to give away to make their theoretical viewpoints compatible, I will argue that particularists (...)
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  18. The Future of the Philosophy of Conspiracy Theory: An Introduction to the Special Issue on Conspiracy Theory Theory.M. R. X. Dentith - 2023 - Social Epistemology (4):405-412.
    Looking at the early work in the philosophy of conspiracy theory theory, I put in context the papers in this special issue on new work on conspiracy theory theory (itself the product of the 1st International Conference on the Philosophy of Conspiracy Theory held in February 2022), showing how this new generation of work not only grew out of, but is itself a novel extension of the first generation of philosophical interest in these things called ‘conspiracy theories’.
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  19. 'I-know-it-when-I-see-it' - Motivating Examples in the Social Psychology of Conspiracy Theory Theory.M. R. X. Dentith - 2023 - Misinformation and Conspiracy Theories.
    Looking at set of 76 representative articles published by social psychologists between 2017 and 2023 (reviewed between December 2022 and February 2023), I examine the role of motivating examples---a kind of illustrative example, typically used by researchers at the beginning of their work to motivate the issue or problem they want to resolve or address in that work---in the social psychological work on conspiracy theory. Through an examination of the language around how motivating examples are introduced and used in the (...)
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  20. Does the Phrase “Conspiracy Theory” Matter?M. R. X. Dentith, Ginna Husting & Martin Orr - 2023 - Society.
    Research on conspiracy theories has proliferated since 2016, in part due to the US election of President Trump, the COVID-19 pandemic, and increasingly threatening environmental conditions. In the rush to publication given these concerning social consequences, researchers have increasingly treated as definitive a 2016 paper by Michael Wood (Political Psychology, 37(5), 695–705, 2016) that concludes that the phrase “conspiracy theory” has no negative effect upon people’s willingness to endorse a claim. We revisit Wood’s findings and its (re)uptake in the recent (...)
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  21. What Does It Mean for a Conspiracy Theory to Be a ‘Theory’?Julia Duetz - 2023 - Social Epistemology:1-16.
    The pejorative connotation often associated with the ordinary language meaning of “conspiracy theory” does not only stem from a conspiracy theory’s being about a conspiracy, but also from a conspiracy theory’s being regarded as a particular kind of theory. I propose to understand conspiracy theory-induced polarization in terms of disagreement about the correct epistemic evaluation of ‘theory’ in ‘conspiracy theory’. By framing the positions typical in conspiracy theory-induced polarization in this way, I aim to show that pejorative conceptions of ‘conspiracy (...)
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  22. Conspiracy Theories, Populism, and Epistemic Autonomy.Keith Raymond Harris - 2023 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 9 (1):21-36.
    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 from criticism. I argue that the contrarian nature of conspiracy (...)
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  23. ”That’s Just a Conspiracy Theory!”: Relevant Alternatives, Dismissive Conversational Exercitives, and the Problem of Premature Conclusions.Rico Hauswald - 2023 - Social Epistemology 37 (4):494-509.
    Drawing on the relevant alternatives framework and Mary Kate McGowan’s work on conversational scorekeeping, I argue that usage of the term ‘conspiracy theory’ in ordinary language and public discourse typically entails the performance of what I call a dismissive conversational exercitive, a kind of speech act that functions to exclude certain propositions from (or prevent their inclusion in) the set of alternatives considered relevant in a given conversational context. While it can be legitimate to perform dismissive conversational exercitives, excluding alternatives (...)
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  24. Is ‘Conspiracy Theory’ Harmful? A Reply to Foster and Ichikawa.Scott Hill - 2023 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 12 (9):27-31.
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  25. Conspiracy Theory and (or as) Folk Psychology.Brian L. Keeley - 2023 - Social Epistemology 37 (4):413-422.
    One issue within conspiracy theory theory is whether, or to what extent, our central concept – – should map on to the common, lay sense of the term. Some conspiracy theory theorists insist that we use the term as everyday people use it. So, for example, if the term has a pejorative connotation in everyday parlance, then academic work on the concept should reflect that. Other conspiracy theory theorists take a more revisionist approach, arguing instead that while their use of (...)
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  26. Conspiracy Theories, Scepticism, and Non-Liberal Politics.Fred Matthews - 2023 - Social Epistemology 37 (5):626-636.
    There has been much interest in conspiracy theories (CTs) amongst philosophers in recent years. The aim of this paper will be to apply some of the philosophical research to issues in political theory. I will first provide an overview of some of the philosophical discussions about CTs. While acknowledging that particularism is currently the dominant position in the literature, I will contend that the ‘undue scepticism problem’, a modified version of an argument put forward by Brian Keeley, is an important (...)
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  27. Conspiracy Theories and Democratic Legitimacy.Will Mittendorf - 2023 - Social Epistemology 37 (4):481-493.
    Conspiracy theories are frequently described as a threat to democracy and conspiracy theorists portrayed as epistemically or morally unreasonable. If these characterizations are correct, then it may be the case that reasons stemming from conspiracy theorizing threaten the legitimizing function of democratic deliberation. In this paper, I will argue the opposite. Despite the extraordinary epistemic and morally unreasonable claims made by some conspiracy theorists, belief in conspiracy theories is guided by internal epistemic norms inherent in believing. By utilizing the insights (...)
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  28. Is Conspiracy Theory a Case of Conceptual Domination?M. Giulia Napolitano & Kevin Reuter - 2023 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 12 (11):74-82.
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  29. Normativity in studying conspiracy theory belief: Seven guidelines.Rik Peels, Nora Kindermann & Chris Ranalli - 2023 - Philosophical Psychology 36 (6):1125-1159.
    This paper aims to provide clear guidelines for researchers studying conspiracy theory belief. It examines the meta-linguistic question about how we should conceptualize 'conspiracy theory' and its relationship to the evaluative question of how we should evaluate beliefs in conspiracy theories, addressing normative issues surrounding the meaning, use, and conceptualization of ‘conspiracy theory’, as well as how these issues might impact how researchers study conspiracy theories or beliefs in them It argues that four norms, the Empirical Accuracy Norm, the Linguistic (...)
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  30. Towards a Conceptual Framework for Conspiracy Theory Theories.Niki Pfeifer - 2023 - Social Epistemology 37 (4):510-521.
    I present a conceptual framework for classifying generalist and particularist approaches to conspiracy theories (CTs). Specifically, I exploit a probabilistic version of the hexagon of opposition which allows for systematically visualising the logical relations among basic philosophical positions concerning CTs. The probabilistic interpretation can also account for positions, which make weaker claims about CTs: e.g. instead of claiming ‘every CT is suspicious’ some theorists might prefer to claim ‘most CTs are suspicious’ and then ask about logical consequences of such claims. (...)
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  31. ‘Conspiracy Theory’ as a Tonkish Term: Some Runabout Inference-Tickets from Truth to Falsehood.Charles Pigden - 2023 - Social Epistemology 37 (4):423-437.
    I argue that ‘conspiracy theory’ and ‘conspiracy theorist’ as commonly employed are ‘tonkish’ terms (as defined by Arthur Prior and Michael Dummett), licensing inferences from truths to falsehoods; indeed, that they are mega-tonkish terms, since their use is governed by different and competing sets of introduction and elimination rules, delivering different and inconsistent results. Thus ‘conspiracy theory’ and ‘conspiracy theorist’ do not have determinate extensions, which means that generalizations about conspiracy theories or conspiracy theorists do not have determinate truth-values. Hence (...)
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  32. Bayesian belief protection: A study of belief in conspiracy theories.Nina Poth & Krzysztof Dolega - 2023 - Philosophical Psychology 36 (6):1182-1207.
    Several philosophers and psychologists have characterized belief in conspiracy theories as a product of irrational reasoning. Proponents of conspiracy theories apparently resist revising their beliefs given disconfirming evidence and tend to believe in more than one conspiracy, even when the relevant beliefs are mutually inconsistent. In this paper, we bring leading views on conspiracy theoretic beliefs closer together by exploring their rationality under a probabilistic framework. We question the claim that the irrationality of conspiracy theoretic beliefs stems from an inadequate (...)
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  33. When to Dismiss Conspiracy Theories Out of Hand.Ryan Ross - 2023 - Synthese 202 (3):1-26.
    Given that conspiracies exist, can we be justified in dismissing conspiracy theories without concerning ourselves with specific details? I answer this question by focusing on contrarian conspiracy theories, theories about conspiracies that conflict with testimony from reliable sources of information. For example, theories that say the CIA masterminded the assassination of John F. Kennedy, 9/11 was an inside job, or the Freemasons are secretly running the world are contrarian conspiracy theories. When someone argues for a contrarian conspiracy theory, their options (...)
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  34. The Normative Turn in Conspiracy Theory Theory?Patrick Stokes - 2023 - Social Epistemology 37 (4):535-543.
    The papers contained in this special issue are evidence that the philosophy of conspiracy theory is undergoing a ‘normative turn’, with earlier concerns about the epistemological soundness of conspiracy theories now being supplemented by a shift to concerns about discursive and epistemic justice. This is a welcome development. Nonetheless, these normative concerns need to be seen within the context of an ongoing and largely undeclared disagreement between generalists and particularists over just how conspired the world really is.
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  35. Who is a Conspiracy Theorist?Melina Tsapos - 2023 - Social Epistemology 38 (4):454-463.
    The simplest and most natural definition of the term ‘conspiracy theory’ leads us to the conclusion that we are all conspiracy theorists. Yet, I claim that most of us would not self-identify as such. In this paper I call this the problem of self-identification. Since virtually everyone emerges as a conspiracy theorist, the term is essentially theoretically fruitless. It would be like defining intelligence in a way that makes everyone intelligent. This raises the problem for theoretical fruitfulness, i.e. the problem (...)
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  36. Why We Should Be Suspicious of Conspiracy Theories: A Novel Demarcation Problem.Maarten Boudry - 2022 - Episteme 20 (3):611-631.
    What, if anything, is wrong with conspiracy theories (CTs)? A conspiracy refers to a group of people acting in secret to achieve some nefarious goal. Given that the pages of history are full of such plots, however, why are CTs often regarded with suspicion and even disdain? According to “particularism,” the currently dominant view among philosophers, each CT should be evaluated on its own merits and the negative reputation of CTs as a class is wholly undeserved. In this paper, I (...)
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  37. 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 will also argue that these features only license a (...)
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  38. Avoiding the Stereotyping of the Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories: A Reply to Hill.M. R. X. Dentith - 2022 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 11 (8):41-49.
    I’m to push back on Hill’s (2022) criticism in four ways. First: we need some context for the debate that occurred in the pages of the Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective that so concerns Hill. Second: getting precise with our terminology (and not working with stereotypes) is the only theoretically fruitful way to approach the problem of conspiracy theories. Third: I address Hill’s claim there is no evidence George W. Bush or Tony Blair accused their critics, during the build-up (...)
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  39. 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 with respect to these two considerations and so (...)
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  40. Reconciling Conceptual Confusions in the Le Monde Debate on Conspiracy Theories, J.C.M. Duetz and M R. X. Dentith.Julia Duetz & M. R. X. Dentith - 2022 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 10 (11):40-50.
    This reply to an ongoing debate between conspiracy theory researchers from different disciplines exposes the conceptual confusions that underlie some of the disagreements in conspiracy theory research. Reconciling these conceptual confusions is important because conspiracy theories are a multidisciplinary topic and a profound understanding of them requires integrative insights from different fields. Specifically, we distinguish research focussing on conspiracy *theories* (and theorizing) from research of conspiracy *belief* (and mindset, theorists) and explain how particularism with regards to conspiracy theories does not (...)
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  41. Is Conspiracy Theorizing Really Epistemically Problematic?Kurtis Hagen - 2022 - Episteme 19 (2):197-219.
    In an article based on a recent address to the Royal Institute of Philosophy, Keith Harris has argued that there is something epistemically wrong with conspiracy theorizing. Although he finds “standard criticisms” of conspiracy theories wanting, he argues that there are three subtle but significant problems with conspiracy theorizing: It relies on an invalid probabilistic version of modus tollens. It involves a problematic combination of both epistemic virtues and vices. And it lacks an adequate basis for trust in its information (...)
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  42. 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 on their individual epistemic merits. This (...)
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  43. Some problems with particularism.Keith Raymond Harris - 2022 - Synthese 200 (6):1-16.
    Particularists maintain that conspiracy theories are to be assessed individually, while generalists hold that conspiracy theories may be assessed as a class. This paper seeks to clarify the nature and importance of the debate between particularism and generalism, while offering an argument for a version of generalism. I begin by considering three approaches to the definition of conspiracy theory, and offer reason to prefer an approach that defines conspiracy theories in opposition to the claims of epistemic authorities. I argue that (...)
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  44. Conspiracy Theories as Serious Play.Neil Levy - 2022 - Philosophical Topics 50 (2):1-19.
    Why do people endorse conspiracy theories? There is no single explanation: different people have different attitudes to the theories they say they believe. In this paper, I argue that for many, conspiracy theories are serious play. They’re attracted to conspiracy theories because these theories are engaging: it’s fun to entertain them (witness the enormous number of conspiracy narratives in film and TV). Just as the person who watches a conspiratorial film suspends disbelief for its duration, so many conspiracy theorists do (...)
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  45. Is Conspiracism Endogenous to Populism? A Discursive-Theoretical Analysis.G. Markou - 2022 - Redescriptions: Political Thought, Conceptual History and Feminist Theory 25 (2):154–170.
    In recent years, in the era of multiple crises, there are many political parties and leaders that use conspiracy theories in their discourse, trying to explain facts and figures on politics, economy, society, environment and space. There is an ongoing debate in populism studies on the possible connection between the populist phenomenon and conspiracy theories, thus creating two main theoretical camps. On the one hand, there are many scholars who recognize a strong correlation between the two phenomena, with some of (...)
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  46. Fake news, conspiracy theorizing, and intellectual vice.Marco Meyer & Mark Alfano - 2022 - In Mark Alfano, Colin Klein & Jeroen de Ridder (eds.), Social Virtue Epistemology. Routledge.
    Across two studies, one of which was pre-registered, we find that a simple questionnaire that measures intellectual virtue and vice predicts how many fake news articles and conspiracy theories participants accept. This effect holds even when controlling for multiple demographic predictors, including age, household income, sex, education, ethnicity, political affiliation, religion, and news consumption. These results indicate that self-report is an adequate way to measure intellectual virtue and vice, which suggests that they are not fully immune to introspective awareness or (...)
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  47. Conspiracy Theories and the Conventional Wisdom Revisited.Charles Pigden - 2022 - 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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  48. Bayesian belief protection: A study of belief in conspiracy theories.Nina Poth & Krzysztof Dolega - 2022 - Philosophical Psychology.
    Several philosophers and psychologists have characterized belief in conspiracy theories as a product of irrational reasoning. Proponents of conspiracy theories apparently resist revising their beliefs given disconfirming evidence and tend to believe in more than one conspiracy, even when the relevant beliefs are mutually inconsistent. In this paper, we bring leading views on conspiracy theoretic beliefs closer together by exploring their rationality under a probabilistic framework. We question the claim that the irrationality of conspiracy theoretic beliefs stems from an inadequate (...)
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  49. 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 Institution Conspiracy Theories and Theorists’. Generalists uncritically center (...)
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  50. 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.
    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 conspiracy theories involve an expectation to encounter some seemingly disconfirming (...)
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