Results for 'Conspiracy Belief'

999 found
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  1. Creencias conspirativas. Aspectos formales y generales de un fenómeno antiguo (Conspiracy beliefs. Formal and general aspects of an ancient phenomenon).Pietro Montanari - 2022 - Protrepsis 11 (22):273-304.
    The paper provides both a description of conspiracy beliefs and an insight into their cultural significance. On one side, it highlights their specific formal features, on the other, and this constitutes its peculiarity in the recent literature on the topic, it considers them within the broader genre of general conceptual beliefs, whose main characteristics are weak methodology and logical structure, strong affective and dispositional constraints, epistemic closure and mauvaise foi, and whose main function is practical and self-representative (not epistemic). (...)
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  2. Creencias conspirativas: condiciones psicológicas y sociopolíticas de su formación y prominencia (Conspiracy beliefs: psychological and sociopolitical conditions of their formation and salience).Pietro Montanari - 2022 - Revista de Filosofía 101 (39):211-234.
    The paper focuses on the analysis of conspiracy beliefs and conspiracy theories by taking into consideration some of the major contributions about the topic presently provided by several disciplines. A definition is given that helps illustrate the most prominent features of these beliefs, namely monological bias, logical and conceptual fallacies, dispositional influence and pseudorationality. Other important psychological preconditions are also provided (such as, among others, credulity, hypersensitive agency detection devices and proneness to self-deception), but, as the paper argues, (...)
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  3. Conspiracy Theories Are Not Beliefs.Julia Duetz - 2022 - Erkenntnis:1-15.
    Napolitano (2021) argues that the Minimalist Account of conspiracy theories—i.e., which defines conspiracy theories as explanations, or theories, about conspiracies—should be rejected. Instead, she proposes to define conspiracy theories as a certain kind of belief—i.e., an evidentially self-insulated belief in a conspiracy. Napolitano argues that her account should be favored over the Minimalist Account based on two considerations: ordinary language intuitions and theoretical fruitfulness. I show how Napolitano’s account fails its own purposes with respect (...)
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  4. Bayesian belief protection: A study of belief in conspiracy theories.Nina Poth & Krzysztof Dolega - 2022 - Philosophical Psychology.
    Several philosophers and psychologists have characterized belief in conspiracy theories as a product of irrational reasoning. Proponents of conspiracy theories apparently resist revising their beliefs given disconfirming evidence and tend to believe in more than one conspiracy, even when the relevant beliefs are mutually inconsistent. In this paper, we bring leading views on conspiracy theoretic beliefs closer together by exploring their rationality under a probabilistic framework. We question the claim that the irrationality of conspiracy (...)
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  5. Dimensions of Conspiracy: Toward a Unifying Framework for Understanding Conspiracy Theory Belief.Melina Tsapos - manuscript
    Researchers have argued that believing in conspiracy theories is dangerous and harmful, both for the individual and the community. In the philosophical debate, the divide is between the generalists, who argue that conspiracy theories are prima facie problematic, and the particularists, who argue that since conspiracies do occur, we ought to take conspiracy theories seriously, and consider them on merit. Much of the empirical research has focused on correlations between conspiracy belief and personality traits, such (...)
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  6. Betting on Conspiracy: A Decision Theoretic Account of the Rationality of Conspiracy Theory Belief.Melina Tsapos - 2024 - Erkenntnis 89 (2):1-19.
    The question of the rationality of conspiratorial belief ¬divides philosophers into mainly two camps. The particularists believe that each conspiracy theory ought to be examined on its own merits. The generalist, by contrast, argues that there is something inherently suspect about conspiracy theories that makes belief in them irrational. Recent empirical findings indicate that conspiratorial thinking is commonplace among ordinary people, which has naturally shifted attention to the particularists. Yet, even the particularist must agree that not (...)
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  7. Conspiracy Theories and Evidential Self-Insulation.M. Giulia Napolitano - 2021 - In Sven Bernecker, Amy K. Flowerree & Thomas Grundmann (eds.), The Epistemology of Fake News. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 82-105.
    What are conspiracy theories? And what, if anything, is epistemically wrong with them? I offer an account on which conspiracy theories are a unique way of holding a belief in a conspiracy. Specifically, I take conspiracy theories to be self-insulating beliefs in conspiracies. On this view, conspiracy theorists have their conspiratorial beliefs in a way that is immune to revision by counter-evidence. I argue that conspiracy theories are always irrational. Although conspiracy theories (...)
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  8. Conspiracy Theories and the Conventional Wisdom.Charles Pigden - 2007 - Episteme 4 (2):219-232.
    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. (...)
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  9. Cults, Conspiracies, and Fantasies of Knowledge.Daniel Munro - forthcoming - Episteme:1-22.
    There’s a certain pleasure in fantasizing about possessing knowledge, especially possessing secret knowledge to which outsiders don’t have access. Such fantasies are typically a source of innocent entertainment. However, under the right conditions, fantasies of knowledge can become epistemically dangerous, because they can generate illusions of genuine knowledge. I argue that this phenomenon helps to explain why some people join and eventually adopt the beliefs of epistemic communities who endorse seemingly bizarre, outlandish claims, such as extreme cults and online (...) theory groups. It can be difficult to grasp how members of such groups come to believe the theories they endorse. I argue that one route to such beliefs is via deep absorption in fantasies of knowledge, which can lead entire groups to become collectively detached from reality. (shrink)
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  10. Conspiracy Theories and the Conventional Wisdom Revisited.Charles Pigden - 2022 - In Olli Loukola (ed.), Secrets and Conspiracies. Rodopi.
    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. I argue that the policy of systematically doubting or disbelieving conspiracy theories would be both a political disaster and the epistemic (...)
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  11. Conspiracy theories on the basis of the evidence.Matthew Dentith - 2017 - Synthese:1-19.
    Conspiracy theories are often portrayed as unwarranted beliefs, typically supported by suspicious kinds of evidence. Yet contemporary work in Philosophy argues provisional belief in conspiracy theories is at the very least understandable---because conspiracies occur---and that if we take an evidential approach, judging individual conspiracy theories on their particular merits, belief in such theories turns out to be warranted in a range of cases. -/- Drawing on this work, I examine the kinds of evidence typically associated (...)
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  12. Conspiracy theories, epistemic self-identity, and epistemic territory.Daniel Munro - 2024 - Synthese 203 (4):1-28.
    This paper seeks to carve out a distinctive category of conspiracy theorist, and to explore the process of becoming a conspiracy theorist of this sort. Those on whom I focus claim their beliefs trace back to simply trusting their senses and experiences in a commonsensical way, citing what they take to be authoritative firsthand evidence or observations. Certain flat Earthers, anti-vaxxers, and UFO conspiracy theorists, for example, describe their beliefs and evidence this way. I first distinguish these (...)
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  13. Conspiracy Theories and Rational Critique: A Kantian Procedural Approach.Janis David Schaab - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    This paper develops a new kind of approach to conspiracy theories – a procedural approach. This approach promises to establish that belief in conspiracy theories is rationally criticisable in general. Unlike most philosophical approaches, a procedural approach does not purport to condemn conspiracy theorists directly on the basis of features of their theories. Instead, it focuses on the patterns of thought involved in forming and sustaining belief in such theories. Yet, unlike psychological approaches, a procedural (...)
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  14. Conspiracy theories on the basis of the evidence.M. R. X. Dentith - 2019 - Synthese 196 (6):2243-2261.
    Conspiracy theories are often portrayed as unwarranted beliefs, typically supported by suspicious kinds of evidence. Yet contemporary work in Philosophy argues provisional belief in conspiracy theories is—at the very—least understandable (because conspiracies occur) and if we take an evidential approach—judging individual conspiracy theories on their particular merits—belief in such theories turns out to be warranted in a range of cases. Drawing on this work, I examine the kinds of evidence typically associated with conspiracy theories, (...)
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  15. What is Interesting about Conspiracy Theories?Melina Tsapos - manuscript
    It is not clear that scholars, when they use the term ‘conspiracy theory’, are in fact interested in investigating the phenomenon of conspiracy theories and belief in them as such. I consider two perspectives found in the fast-growing literature on conspiracy theories: The Faux-pas View and The Neutral View. I argue that there is a difference in scholarly motivation, or at a very minimum a difference in the sustaining motivation for the research paradigms. What the motivations (...)
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  16. Reconciling Conceptual Confusions in the Le Monde Debate on Conspiracy Theories, J.C.M. Duetz and M R. X. Dentith.Julia Duetz & M. R. X. Dentith - 2022 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 10 (11):40-50.
    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 (...)
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  17.  34
    Conspiracy Theorist's World and Genealogy.Nader Shoaibi - forthcoming - Social Epistemology.
    Conspiracy theories pose a serious threat to our society these days. People often dismiss conspiracy theory believers as at best gullible, or more often unintelligent. However, there are cases in which individuals end up believing conspiracy theories out of no epistemic fault of their own. In this paper, I want to offer a diagnosis of the problem by focusing on the genealogy of the conspiracy theory beliefs. Drawing on a novel interpretation of Nietzsche’s use of genealogies, (...)
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  18. When Inferring to a Conspiracy might be the Best Explanation.Matthew R. X. Dentith - 2016 - Social Epistemology 30 (5-6):572-591.
    Conspiracy theories are typically thought to be examples of irrational beliefs, and thus unlikely to be warranted. However, recent work in Philosophy has challenged the claim that belief in conspiracy theories is irrational, showing that in a range of cases, belief in conspiracy theories is warranted. However, it is still often said that conspiracy theories are unlikely relative to non-conspiratorial explanations which account for the same phenomena. However, such arguments turn out to rest upon (...)
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  19. The Wrong Thinking in Conspiracy Theories.Brendan Shea - 2019 - In Conspiracy Theories: Philosophers Connect the Dots. Chicago: Open Court. pp. 193-203.
    Political conspiracy theories—e.g., unsupported beliefs about the nefarious machinations of one’s cunning, powerful, and evil opponents—are adopted enthusiastically by a great many people of widely varying political orientations. In many cases, these theories posit that there exists a small group of individuals who have intentionally but secretly acted to cause economic problems, political strife, and even natural disasters. This group is often held to exist “in the shadows,” either because its membership is unknown, or because “the real nature” of (...)
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  20. Does the Phrase “Conspiracy Theory” Matter?M. R. X. Dentith, Ginna Husting & Martin Orr - 2023 - Society.
    Research on conspiracy theories has proliferated since 2016, in part due to the US election of President Trump, the COVID-19 pandemic, and increasingly threatening environmental conditions. In the rush to publication given these concerning social consequences, researchers have increasingly treated as definitive a 2016 paper by Michael Wood (Political Psychology, 37(5), 695–705, 2016) that concludes that the phrase “conspiracy theory” has no negative effect upon people’s willingness to endorse a claim. We revisit Wood’s findings and its (re)uptake in (...)
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  21. What Does It Mean for a Conspiracy Theory to Be a ‘Theory’?Julia Duetz - 2023 - Social Epistemology:1-16.
    The pejorative connotation often associated with the ordinary language meaning of “conspiracy theory” does not only stem from a conspiracy theory’s being about a conspiracy, but also from a conspiracy theory’s being regarded as a particular kind of theory. I propose to understand conspiracy theory-induced polarization in terms of disagreement about the correct epistemic evaluation of ‘theory’ in ‘conspiracy theory’. By framing the positions typical in conspiracy theory-induced polarization in this way, I aim (...)
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  22. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but...Matthew R. X. Dentith - 2015 - Fortean Times (324):36-39.
    Typical analyses of belief in conspiracy theories have it that identifying as a conspiracy theorist is irrational. However, given that we know conspiracies occur, and theories about said conspiracies can be warranted, should we really be scared of the locution 'I'm a conspiracy theorist...'?
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  23. Popper revisited, or what is wrong with conspiracy theories?Charles Pigden - 1995 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 25 (1):3-34.
    Conpiracy theories are widely deemed to be superstitious. Yet history appears to be littered with conspiracies successful and otherwise. (For this reason, "cock-up" theories cannot in general replace conspiracy theories, since in many cases the cock-ups are simply failed conspiracies.) Why then is it silly to suppose that historical events are sometimes due to conspiracy? The only argument available to this author is drawn from the work of the late Sir Karl Popper, who criticizes what he calls "the (...)
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  24. The Philosophy of Taking Conspiracy Theories Seriously. [REVIEW]Ori Freiman - 2019 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 8 (9):51-61.
    During the last few decades, the proliferation of interest in conspiracy theories became a widespread phenomenon in our culture, and also in academia. In this piece, I review a new book on the topic of conspiracy theory theory (that is-the theory of conspiracy theories) Taking Conspiracy Theories Seriously, edited by M R. X. Dentith. To contextualize the review, I first turn to the '90s, to see what sparked current interest in conspiracy theories within the field (...)
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  25. Bubbles and Chambers: Post-Truth and Belief Formation in Digital Social-Epistemic Environments.Massimiliano Badino - 2022
    It is often claimed that epistemic bubbles and echo chambers foster post-truth by filtering our access to information and manipulating our epistemic attitude. In this paper, I try to add a further level of analysis by adding the issue of belief formation. Building on cognitive psychology work, I argue for a dual-system theory according to which beliefs derive from a default system and a critical system. One produces beliefs in a quasi-automatic, effortless way, the other in a slow, effortful (...)
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  26. La realidad habla por sí sola”. Cuando exhibir fuertes convicciones no es propiamente una virtud (“Reality Speaks for Itself ”. When Exhibiting Strong Convictions is Not Properly a Virtue).Montanari Pietro - 2023 - Open Insight 14 (32):165-212.
    (English:) The article introduces conspiracy beliefs and considers the most relevant literature in the field. The main purpose of the article is phenomenological: it proposes to understand conspiracy beliefs within the broader genre of what I call general conceptual beliefs (or simply, general beliefs), whose central features are big issues, logical-conceptual fallacies, pseudorationality, bad faith, and monological bias. I claim that general beliefs are functional to a motivationally biased and inherently dishonest communication (the same one that conspiracy (...)
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  27. The Problem of Conspiracism.Matthew R. X. Dentith - 2018 - Argumenta 3 (2):327-343.
    Belief in conspiracy theories is typically considered irrational, and as a consequence of this, conspiracy theorists––those who dare believe some conspiracy theory––have been charged with a variety of epistemic or psychological failings. Yet recent philosophical work has challenged the view that belief in conspiracy theories should be considered as typically irrational. By performing an intra-group analysis of those people we call “conspiracy theorists”, we find that the problematic traits commonly ascribed to the general (...)
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  28. What is left of irrationality?Kathleen Murphy-Hollies & Chiara Caporuscio - 2023 - Philosophical Psychology 36 (4):808-818.
    In his recent book Bad Beliefs and Why They Happen to Good People, Neil Levy argues that conspiracy theories result from the same rational processes that underlie epistemic success. While we think many of Levy’s points are valuable, like his criticism of the myth of individual cognition and his emphasis on the importance of one’s social epistemic environment, we believe that his account overlooks some important aspects. We argue that social deference is an active process, and as such can (...)
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  29. Normative Inference Tickets.Jen Foster & Jonathan Ichikawa - 2023 - Episteme:1-27.
    We argue that stereotypes associated with concepts like he-said–she-said, conspiracy theory, sexual harassment, and those expressed by paradigmatic slurs provide “normative inference tickets”: conceptual permissions to automatic, largely unreflective normative conclusions. These “mental shortcuts” are underwritten by associated stereotypes. Because stereotypes admit of exceptions, normative inference tickets are highly flexible and productive, but also liable to create serious epistemic and moral harms. Epistemically, many are unreliable, yielding false beliefs which resist counterexample; morally, many perpetuate bigotry and oppression. Still, some (...)
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  30. The seductions of clarity.C. Thi Nguyen - 2021 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 89:227-255.
    The feeling of clarity can be dangerously seductive. It is the feeling associated with understanding things. And we use that feeling, in the rough-and-tumble of daily life, as a signal that we have investigated a matter sufficiently. The sense of clarity functions as a thought-terminating heuristic. In that case, our use of clarity creates significant cognitive vulnerability, which hostile forces can try to exploit. If an epistemic manipulator can imbue a belief system with an exaggerated sense of clarity, then (...)
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  31. Relevance and risk: How the relevant alternatives framework models the epistemology of risk.Georgi Gardiner - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):481-511.
    The epistemology of risk examines how risks bear on epistemic properties. A common framework for examining the epistemology of risk holds that strength of evidential support is best modelled as numerical probability given the available evidence. In this essay I develop and motivate a rival ‘relevant alternatives’ framework for theorising about the epistemology of risk. I describe three loci for thinking about the epistemology of risk. The first locus concerns consequences of relying on a belief for action, where those (...)
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  32. Playfulness versus epistemic traps.C. Thi Nguyen - 2022 - In Mark Alfano, Colin Klein & Jeroen de Ridder (eds.), Social Virtue Epistemology. Routledge.
    What is the value of intellectual playfulness? Traditional characterizations of the ideal thinker often leave out playfulness; the ideal inquirer is supposed to be sober, careful, and conscientiousness. But elsewhere we find another ideal: the laughing sage, the playful thinker. These are models of intellectual playfulness. Intellectual playfulness, I suggest, is the disposition to try out alternate belief systems for fun – to try on radically different perspectives for the sheer pleasure of it. But what would the cog-nitive value (...)
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  33. Have you heard? The rumour as reliable.Matthew Dentith - 2013 - In Greg Dalziel (ed.), Rumour and Communication in Asia in the Internet Age. Routledge. pp. 46-61.
    Drawing on work by philosophers CAJ Coady and David Coady on the epistemology of rumours, I develop a theory which exploits the distinction between rumouring and rumour-mongering for the purpose of explaining why we should treat rumours as a species of justified belief. -/- Whilst it is true that rumour-mongering, the act of passing on a rumour maliciously, presents a pathology of the normally reliable transmission of rumours, I will argue that rumours themselves have a generally reliable transmission process, (...)
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  34. 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 (...)
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  35. Bída racionální iracionality: případ konspiračních teorií.Filip Tvrdý - 2022 - Filozofia 77 (10):743-755.
    Discussions in contemporary epistemology are burdened with confusions about the terms “rational”, “rationality” and their antonyms. In economy, for an agent to be rational simply means to satisfy the Bayesian probability axioms, but the situation in philosophy is much more complicated. Two kinds of rationality are usually distinguished. Epistemic rationality is an ability to achieve justified and true beliefs, whereas instrumental rationality is a capacity to act in accordance with one’s own interests. This division cleared the way to contemplation about (...)
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  36. The IKEA Effect & The Production of Epistemic Goods.Justin Tiehen - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies 179 (11):3401-3420.
    Behavioral economists have proposed that people are subject to an IKEA effect, whereby they attach greater value to products they make for themselves, like IKEA furniture, than to otherwise indiscernible goods. Recently, cognitive psychologist Tom Stafford has suggested there may be an epistemic analog to this, a kind of epistemic IKEA effect. In this paper, I use Stafford’s suggestion to defend a certain thesis about epistemic value. Specifically, I argue that there is a distinctive epistemic value in being an active (...)
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  37. Capturing the conspiracist’s imagination.Daniel Munro - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (12):3353-3381.
    Some incredibly far-fetched conspiracy theories circulate online these days. For most of us, clear evidence would be required before we’d believe these extraordinary theories. Yet, conspiracists often cite evidence that seems transparently very weak. This is puzzling, since conspiracists often aren’t irrational people who are incapable of rationally processing evidence. I argue that existing accounts of conspiracist belief formation don’t fully address this puzzle. Then, drawing on both philosophical and empirical considerations, I propose a new explanation that appeals (...)
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  38. Teorias da conspiração: por que algumas não valem um caracol.Carvalho Eros - 2021 - Perspectiva Filosófica 48 (2):340-357.
    Neste artigo, mapeio o terreno da discussão em torno das teorias da conspiração, destacando o problema de como defini-las, os fatores que levam à crença nas teorias da conspiração, os seus potenciais prejuízos e como devemos reagir a elas. Defendo que devemos avaliar as consequências da crença em uma teoria da conspiração para determinar se ela deve ser levada a serio ou não. Em bloco, as teorias da conspiração ameaçam a capacidade coletiva de produção de conhecimento e devemos nos preocupar (...)
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  39. Hostile Epistemology.C. Thi Nguyen - 2023 - Social Philosophy Today 39:9-32.
    Hostile epistemology is the study of how environmental features exploit our cognitive vulnerabilities. I am particularly interested in those vulnerabilities arise from the basic character of our epistemic lives. We are finite beings with limited cognitive resources, perpetually forced to reasoning a rush. I focus on two sources of unavoidable vulnerability. First, we need to use cognitive shortcuts and heuristics to manage our limited time and attention. But hostile forces can always game the gap between the heuristic and the ideal. (...)
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  40. Alethische und Narrative Modelle von Verschwörungstheorien.David Heering - 2023 - Zeitschrift für Praktische Philosophie 9 (2):143-174.
    The aim of this paper is to create dialectical space for a hitherto under-discussed option in the philosophy of conspiracy theories. The extant literature on the topic almost exclusively assumes that conspiracy theories are a type of explanation. The typical mental attitude towards explanations is belief, a representational attitude that can be assessed as true, false, warranted or unwarranted. I call models based on this assumption alethic models. Alethic models can’t pick out conspiracy theories as a (...)
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  41. Mad Speculation and Absolute Inhumanism: Lovecraft, Ligotti, and the Weirding of Philosophy.Ben Woodard - 2011 - Continent 1 (1):3-13.
    continent. 1.1 : 3-13. / 0/ – Introduction I want to propose, as a trajectory into the philosophically weird, an absurd theoretical claim and pursue it, or perhaps more accurately, construct it as I point to it, collecting the ground work behind me like the Perpetual Train from China Mieville's Iron Council which puts down track as it moves reclaiming it along the way. The strange trajectory is the following: Kant's critical philosophy and much of continental philosophy which has followed, (...)
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  42. Truth in the age of crisis: pitfalls of pseudoscience.Aleksandra Zorić - 2021 - In Nenad Cekić (ed.), Етика и истина у доба кризе. Belgrade: University of Belgrade - Faculty of Philosophy. pp. 255-269.
    An old philosophical problem of delineating science from pseudoscience has in today’s world far superseded the task of unearthing sufficient and necessary conditions which science should be able to satisfy and on which pseudoscience would fall short. Our interests have shifted from the search for the rigorous criteria of demarcation, to describing various scientific and pseudoscientific activities – as well as bringing the psychological backgrounds of beliefs in numerous pseudoscientific theories to light. We aim to pinpoint some of the key (...)
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  43. The Conspiracy Pathology.Ryan Wasser - 2024 - The Peerless Review 1.
    [To readers: Please consider visiting the journal's website to read this work.] In spite of referring to the human tendency to "breath together" or share the same spirit, the word "conspire" has developed a negative connotation in contemporary society, specifically as it pertains to theorizing about conspiracies as a result of the human proclivity to recognize patterns recognition and coalesce common themes amongst those with shared perceptions into something resembling a unified narrative. This proclivity has only become more pronounced with (...)
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  44. Suspicious conspiracy theories.M. R. X. Dentith - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-14.
    Conspiracy theories and conspiracy theorists have been accused of a great many sins, but are the conspiracy theories conspiracy theorists believe epistemically problematic? Well, according to some recent work, yes, they are. Yet a number of other philosophers like Brian L. Keeley, Charles Pigden, Kurtis Hagen, Lee Basham, and the like have argued ‘No!’ I will argue that there are features of certain conspiracy theories which license suspicion of such theories. I will also argue that (...)
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  45. 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 (...)
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  46. Conspiracy Theories, Populism, and Epistemic Autonomy.Keith Raymond Harris - 2023 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 9 (1):21-36.
    Quassim Cassam has argued that psychological and epistemological analyses of conspiracy theories threaten to overlook the political nature of such theories. According to Cassam, conspiracy theories are a form of political propaganda. I develop a limited critique of Cassam's analysis.This paper advances two core theses. First, acceptance of conspiracy theories requires a rejection of epistemic authority that renders conspiracy theorists susceptible to co-option by certain political programs while insulating such programs from criticism. I argue that the (...)
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  47. Do Conspiracies Tend to Fail? Philosophical Reflections on a Poorly Supported Academic Meme.Kurtis Hagen - 2023 - Episteme 20 (2):429-448.
    Critics of conspiracy theories often charge that such theories are implausible because conspiracies of the kind they allege tend to fail. Thus, according to these critics, conspiracy theories that have been around for a while would have been, in all likelihood, already exposed if they had been real. So, they reason, they probably are not. In this article, I maintain that the arguments in support of this view are unconvincing. I do so by examining a list of four (...)
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  48. 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 (...)
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  49. 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 (...)
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  50. Conspiracy theories are not theories: Time to rename conspiracy theories.Kevin Reuter & Lucien Baumgartner - forthcoming - In Manuel Gustavo Isaac, Steffen Koch & Kevin Scharp (eds.), New Perspectives on Conceptual Engineering. Springer.
    This paper presents the results of two corpus studies investigating the discourse surrounding conspiracy theories and genuine theories. The results of these studies show that conspiracy theories lack the epistemic and scientific standing characteristic of theories more generally. Instead, our findings indicate that conspiracy theories are spread in a manner that resembles the dissemination of rumors and falsehoods. Based on these empirical results, we argue that it is time for both re-engineering conspiracy theory and for relabeling (...)
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