Conspiracy Theories and Democratic Legitimacy

Social Epistemology 37 (4):481-493 (2023)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

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 of the Peircean epistemic defense formulated by Cheryl Misak and Robert Talisse, I take it that these epistemic norms implicitly commit the theorist to an open democratic society.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,678

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Conspiracy Theories, Populism, and Epistemic Autonomy.Keith Raymond Harris - 2023 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 9 (1):21-36.
What's Epistemically Wrong with Conspiracy Theorising?Keith Harris - 2018 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 84:235-257.
Are Conspiracy Theorists Epistemically Vicious?Charles R. Pigden - 2016 - In Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen, Kimberley Brownlee & David Coady (eds.), A Companion to Applied Philosophy. Malden, MA: Wiley. pp. 120–132.
Conspiracy theories and conspiracy theorizing.Steve Clarke - 2002 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 32 (2):131-150.
Conspiracy and Conspiracy Theories in Democratic Politics.Alfred Moore - 2016 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 28 (1):1-23.
Conspiracy Theorist's World and Genealogy.Nader Shoaibi - forthcoming - Social Epistemology.
Conspiracy Theories, Deplorables, and Defectibility: A Reply to Patrick Stokes.Charles R. Pigden - 2018 - In Matthew R. X. Dentith (ed.), Taking Conspiracy Theories Seriously. Rowman & Littlefield International. pp. 203-215.

Analytics

Added to PP
2023-02-22

Downloads
97 (#177,685)

6 months
41 (#110,674)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Will Mittendorf
Cerritos College

References found in this work

A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
Why Deliberative Democracy?Amy Gutmann & Dennis F. Thompson - 2004 - Princeton University Press.
Some Conspiracy Theories.M. R. X. Dentith - 2023 - Social Epistemology (4):522-534.
The Problems of Philosophy.Bertrand Russell - 1912 - Mind 21 (84):556-564.

View all 49 references / Add more references