With Permission

Well, as you might well have guessed I’ve been writing a lot more on the subject on Conspiracy Theories than that which appears on this blog. A lot lot more, in fact. I’ve solicted the opinion of my supervisor as to whether I can post thesis/dissertation materials up here and the answer seems to be ‘Yes,’ so, as roughly readable parts become available expect them to appear as posts on this site. I make no apologies about how comprehensible they will be to the lay (read: non-philosophy) reading audience; a PhD is about impressing your peers by showing you know the subject and thus it is written for Philosophers by Philosophers. Still, it should be much more comprehensible than, say, a tract in Psycho-sociology and it certainly won’t be at all post-modern.

Long term, of course, I’d like to ‘translate’ it for the ‘masses.’ I wrote a fairly complex defence of the Paranormal for a conference a few years back (sidenote: I have yet to see any evidence of the paranormal and do not expect to, but the possibility of its existence is not actually ruled out by what we know of and in the Natural Sciences) which deals in the difference between Ontology and Epistemology. I submitted it to the Skeptic where, after a re-write to make it more Scientist/Skeptic friendly it was approved for publication (when I don’t know). The process of making the piece less jargon-reliant yet still accurate (disciplines have jargon for a reason, you know) was both fun and very infuriating. I think that academics have a social duty (I’m rather big on social duties; I call it ‘Civilisation Maintenance’) to educate and I would hate to research and never share that research, especially since my interest in what people believe could (I stress the conditional nature of this) lead to some of those irrational beliefs being fixed.

Also, posting thesis materials is a really cheap way to generate blog posts.

Like this one, except this is more a meta-post than a post-proper.

About Matthew Dentith

Author of "The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories" (Palgrave Macmillan), Matthew Dentith wrote his PhD on epistemic issues surrounding belief in conspiracy theories. He is a frequent media commentator on the weird and the wonderful, both locally and internationally. On occasion he can be caught dreaming about wax lions but, mostly, it is rumoured he works for elements of the New World Order.