Conspiracy Theories and the Conventional Wisdom

Episteme 4 (2):219-232 (2007)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

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. I discuss several variations of this strategy, interpreting “conspiracy theory” in different ways but conclude that on all these readings, the conventional wisdom is deeply unwise

Similar books and articles

Conspiracy Theories and Official Stories.David Coady - 2003 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 17 (2):197-209.
Popper revisited, or what is wrong with conspiracy theories?Charles Pigden - 1995 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 25 (1):3-34.
Shit Happens.Pete Mandik - 2007 - Episteme 4 (2):205-218.
Conspiracy theories of quantum mechanics.Peter J. Lewis - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (2):359-381.
Conspiracy theories and conspiracy theorizing.Steve Clarke - 2002 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 32 (2):131-150.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
4,307 (#1,336)

6 months
356 (#5,257)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Charles R. Pigden
University of Otago

References found in this work

Of conspiracy theories.Brian Keeley - 1999 - Journal of Philosophy 96 (3):109-126.
Complots of Mischief.Charles Pigden - 2006 - In David Coady (ed.), Conspiracy Theories: The Philosophical Debate. Ashgate. pp. 139-166.
The portable Hannah Arendt.Hannah Arendt - 2000 - New York: Penguin Books. Edited by Peter Baehr.

View all 6 references / Add more references