The Proposal

The Move Tree did not actually go down that well with the Graduate Committee; I was told I would be allowed to submit a proposal but it was with some hesitation. I suspect that the Move Tree/pre-proposal was too generic in its scope, but then again I suspect that the lack of instructions as to what the pre-proposal was meant to look like and do lead to that situation.The proposal proper took about a month to write and edit. It’s near five thousand words in length and part of it was borrowed from a friend (let me know if you can work out which bit). It represents what my thesis is going to be about quite adequately (although it omits the work in epistemology that I am going to do and it doesn’t touch on what the work might mean for similar (to Conspiracy Theories) beliefs. Much of that material only occurred to me and my supervisors after the proposal was written, and the proposal needs to be definite, whilst the new material is work I am hoping I am going to be able to prove.In some respects the proposal is just a longer version of the pre-proposal. The chapter structure is similar and I flesh out a lot of the moves the pre-proposal mentioned. In other respects it presents a different work; when I wrote the pre-proposal I had a fairly good grasp of what I was going to write on but the process of writing the proposal cemented some of my ideas and caused me to discard others.This document also has a fairly large bibliography. Most PhD proposals cite books the author has read and is going to read. I’ve just cited some of the books and articles I read in preparation for the project. This was going to prove a sticking point, which ended up with me having to write up a literature review. More on that next time.The Proposal


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.