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  1. 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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  • Genealogical Undermining for Conspiracy Theories.Alexios Stamatiadis-Bréhier - 2023 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-23.
    In this paper I develop a genealogical approach for investigating and evaluating conspiracy theories. I argue that conspiracy theories with an epistemically problematic genealogy are (in virtue of that fact) epistemically undermined. I propose that a plausible type of candidate for such conspiracy theories involves what I call ‘second-order conspiracies’ (i.e. conspiracies that aim to create conspiracy theories). Then, I identify two examples involving such conspiracies: the antivaccination industry and the industry behind climate change denialism. After fleshing out the mechanisms (...)
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  • What Is a Conspiracy Theory and Why Does It Matter?Joseph E. Uscinski & Adam M. Enders - 2023 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 35 (1):148-169.
    Growing concern has been expressed that we have entered a “post-truth” era in which each of us willfully believes whatever we choose, aided and abetted by alternative and social media that spin alternative realities for boutique consumption. A prime example of the belief in alternative realities is said to be acceptance of “conspiracy theories”—a term that is often used as a pejorative to indict claims of conspiracy that are so obviously absurd that only the unhinged could believe them. The epistemological (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • Beyond the political principle: Applying Martin Buber’s philosophy to societal polarization.Marc Pauly - 2022 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 48 (3):437-456.
    Societal polarization has given rise to opposing groups that fight each other as enemies and that have very different ideas about what should be done and about what is the case. This article investigates what tools there are in the philosophy of Martin Buber to address this societal polarization. Buber’s notion of community, the relationship between means and ends, his opposition to the political principle, the notion of an I-Thou dialogue and his conception of truth are presented as relevant for (...)
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  • Beyond the political principle: Applying Martin Buber’s philosophy to societal polarization.Marc Pauly - 2021 - Sage Publications Ltd: Philosophy and Social Criticism 48 (3):437-456.
    Philosophy & Social Criticism, Volume 48, Issue 3, Page 437-456, March 2022. Societal polarization has given rise to opposing groups that fight each other as enemies and that have very different ideas about what should be done and about what is the case. This article investigates what tools there are in the philosophy of Martin Buber to address this societal polarization. Buber’s notion of community, the relationship between means and ends, his opposition to the political principle, the notion of an (...)
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  • The Coaxing Architecture of Reddit’s r/science: Adopting Ethos-Assessment Heuristics to Evaluate Science Experts on the Internet.Devon Moriarty & Ashley Rose Mehlenbacher - 2019 - Social Epistemology 33 (6):514-524.
    ABSTRACTConcerned with how individuals assess scientific experts on the Internet, our research investigates the virtual r/science subreddit and their popular Ask-Me-Anything series, where sci...
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  • The Applied Epistemology of Official Stories.Tim Hayward - forthcoming - Social Epistemology.
    Is it generally rational to defer to official stories? On the affirmative view exemplified by Neil Levy, grounds for scepticism cannot outweigh the epistemic authority of the experts presumed to generate them. Yet sociological studies of how expertise is mediated into official communications reveal the epistemic potential of citizens’ collaboratives. These may include, or advocate hearing, dissident experts. Such groups’ epistemic position is arguably analogous to that of the ‘other institutions of civil society’ that Levy sees as underwriting the authority (...)
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  • 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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  • What should academics do about conspiracy theories? Moving beyond debunking to better deal with conspiratorial movements, misinformation and post-truth.Elżbieta Drążkiewicz Grodzicka & Jaron Harambam - 2021 - Journal for Cultural Research 25 (1):1-11.
    . What should academics do about conspiracy theories? Moving beyond debunking to better deal with conspiratorial movements, misinformation and post-truth. Journal for Cultural Research: Vol. 25, What should academics do about conspiracy theories? Moving beyond debunking to better deal with conspiratorial movements, misinformation and post-truth., pp. 1-11.
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  • Taking vaccine regret and hesitancy seriously. The role of truth, conspiracy theories, gender relations and trust in the HPV immunisation programmes in Ireland.Elżbieta Drążkiewicz Grodzicka - 2021 - Journal for Cultural Research 25 (1):69-87.
    . Taking vaccine regret and hesitancy seriously. The role of truth, conspiracy theories, gender relations and trust in the HPV immunisation programmes in Ireland. Journal for Cultural Research: Vol. 25, What should academics do about conspiracy theories? Moving beyond debunking to better deal with conspiratorial movements, misinformation and post-truth., pp. 69-87.
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  • How Can Constitutivism Account for the Persistence of Deep Disagreements?Enrico Galli - forthcoming - Social Epistemology.
    Exploring the metaphysics of deep disagreements, Ranalli identifies several essential features shared by all such disputes. These very features constitute a set of adequacy conditions that any satisfactory theory of deep disagreements must meet. The paper explains how Coliva’s Wittgensteinian hinge theory can satisfy Ranalli’s persistence desideratum. According to this condition, any appropriate theory must explain why deep disagreements tend to be persistent and thus unresolved without presupposing that they are rationally irresolvable. First, the work critically discusses how Coliva utilizes (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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