Between 2008 and 2010, Matthew Dentith first joined 95bFM’s Simon Pound, then José Barbosa, on Sunday mornings to talk about conspiracy theories. Listen, as they say, again!
Well, that went well. I wrote a paper on the topic of Historical Conspiracies vs. Contemporary Conspiracy Theories. I’m not going to link to it (a draft thereof) because I’m hoping my new ‘Similar Posts’ plugin will do that for me. If it doesn’t, then, well, you can always use the search function of the blog to satisfy any curiousity you might have over the matter.
Next time; the EU and Conspiracy Theories thereof. The time after that, JFK. I like JFK; it allows me to talk about another love of my life, the Principia Discordia and one of its authors, Kevin Thornley.
This week Matthew takes a look at historic conspiracies and contemporary conspiracy theories. He compares the two and makes some conclusions about that can tell us about modern society.
Well, what a week. I’m back tutoring in the Department of Philosophy, I had a two hour eye exam up at the Med School and the CCE class was, well, amazingly good (and I’m not one for such adjectives).
As noted a few days ago, I’m giving a presentation at the Skeptics Conference down in Hamilton. It’s at 9:15 in the AM and I’m not really expecting anyone I know or love to go (not even the FHG). Frankly, I don’t want to go, but that’s really only because 9:15AM, on a Saturday, is a time I like to experience in the privacy of my bedroom.
Still, it will be a good chance for those of you interested in scepticism and philosophy to come and hear me talk. Of course, if the issue of ‘The Skeptic’ is out by then you will have read my paper (but my voice is so dulcet that really, the presentation is a far better deal), although I might have had some comments upon it by that time so replies and suchlike could be added in for fruitiness and flavour.
Anyway. As noted in the first sentence I had a two hour eye exam; I have keratoconus and thus need to have the topography of my eyes mapped from time to time to chart the progress of the disease. The good news is not only has the natural stiffening of my cornea (which happens in your late twenties and early thirties) started to counteract my growing astigmatism but, and this is far more important, my ability to read really small print is better than average.
Years of reading footnotes has finally paid off.
If I was the Fundy Post I’d link to a music video now.
Skeptics Conference 2008, Waikato Diocesan College, 660 River Rd, Hamilton, Saturday the 27th of September
It is generally recognised that theoretical reasoning allows us to generate a lot of beliefs about the world, but some people take what can be called the ‘strong’ version of the argument from theoretical reasoning that argues that our theories of the world, as espoused by the Natural Sciences, allow us to come up with a complete, veridical account of the way the world works. Such accounts tend to deny the existence of entities and processes called ‘Paranormal.’ In this session, based upon a recent paper of mine published in ‘The Skeptic’ (‘The Curious Case of Freeman Dyson and the Paranormal, Vol. 14, No. 2) I will argue that it is not clear that we should be reductionists in respect to the paranormal because neither methodological nor epistemic reductionism rules out of court theories that contain paranormal entities or processes.
Matthew Dentith is an epistemologist whose chief research interests are conspiracy theories and other types of alternative explanations/theories. He wrote his PhD in Philosophy at the University of Auckland, the results of which can be read here.
He currently has a slot on the radio on the University of Auckland's 95bFM Breakfast Show (Thursdays, 8:15am)