Can You Keep a Secret? BS Conspiracy Theories and the Argument from Loose Lips

Episteme:1-20 (forthcoming)
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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 is that no version of the argument suffices to rule out the existence of small initial conspiracies that have no need to add further conspirators. The third limitation is that no version of the argument is dialectically efficacious in the context of arguing with the relevant conspiracy theorists because nothing is said to address the alleged evidence that they cite.



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Ryan Ross
Johns Hopkins University

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Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures.Cass R. Sunstein & Adrian Vermeule - 2009 - Journal of Political Philosophy 17 (2):202-227.
Of Conspiracy Theories.Brian L. Keeley - 1999 - Journal of Philosophy 96 (3):109-126.

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