Reconciling Conceptual Confusions in the Le Monde Debate on Conspiracy Theories, J.C.M. Duetz and M R. X. Dentith

Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 10 (11):40-50 (2022)
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Abstract

This reply to an ongoing debate between conspiracy theory researchers from different disciplines exposes the conceptual confusions that underlie some of the disagreements in conspiracy theory research. Reconciling these conceptual confusions is important because conspiracy theories are a multidisciplinary topic and a profound understanding of them requires integrative insights from different fields. Specifically, we distinguish research focussing on conspiracy *theories* (and theorizing) from research of conspiracy *belief* (and mindset, theorists) and explain how particularism with regards to conspiracy theories does not mean we cannot define a problematic subclass of conspiracy beliefs, while avoiding the problems of generalism. We hope this reply helps conspiracy theory researchers recognize the differences between studying conspiracy theories and conspiracy beliefs and appreciate the possibilities for fruitful, integrative, and interdisciplinary research.

Author Profiles

M R. X. Dentith
Beijing Normal University
Julia Duetz
VU University Amsterdam

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