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The applied epistemology of conspiracy theories: An overview

In David Coady & James Chase (eds.), Routledge Handbook on Applied Epistemology. Abingdon: Routledge. pp. 284-294 (2018)

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  1. Conspiracy theories, impostor syndrome, and distrust.Katherine Hawley - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (4):969-980.
    Conspiracy theorists believe that powerful agents are conspiring to achieve their nefarious aims and also to orchestrate a cover-up. People who suffer from impostor syndrome believe that they are not talented enough for the professional positions they find themselves in, and that they risk being revealed as inadequate. These are quite different outlooks on reality, and there is no reason to think that they are mutually reinforcing. Nevertheless, there are intriguing parallels between the patterns of trust and distrust which underpin (...)
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  • Debunking conspiracy theories.M. R. X. Dentith - 2020 - Synthese 198 (10):9897-9911.
    In this paper I interrogate the notion of `debunking conspiracy theories’, arguing that the term `debunk’ carries with it pejorative implications, given that the verb `to debunk’ is commonly understood as `to show the wrongness of a thing or concept’. As such, the notion of `debunking conspiracy theories’ builds in the notion that such theories are not just wrong but ought to be shown as being wrong. I argue that we should avoid the term `debunk’ and focus on investigating conspiracy (...)
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  • On the Origin of Conspiracy Theories.Patrick Brooks - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-21.
    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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