Talk/Presentation – The Slippery Slope of Conspiracy Theories

On the 5th of August I will be doing a talk double-hander with David Merry in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Auckland. David will be talking about… Actually, I don’t seem to have made a note of that. I’ll correct this when I know. I will be previewing my talk to the Skeptics later in the year (end of September to be a little more precise).

The presentation is short (about thirty minutes tops) and is aimed at a largely philosophically… well, not ignorant but rather young? I can’t work out the word to use here; my point is that readers of this blog who aren’t philosophers are heartily invited to come along. Readers of this blog who are philosophers are invited as well, but the content of the presentation won’t be the most exciting or novel thing you will have ever heard.

Time: 4-6pm, August 5th (Wednesday)

Location: The Patrick Hannan Room (Arts II, Room 501, University of Auckland – map here)

Crude abstract: In this short presentation I am going to defend and develop the notion that ‘Conspiracy Theories’ are a kind of explanation. I will then touch on some salient issues in the appraisal of such explanations, asking specifically why it is that we normally take Conspiracy Theories to be inadequate, if not outright bad, explanations. I will then go through a number of examples of popularly held Conspiracy Theories, some of which skeptics might well feel an attraction to, using them to illustrate my analysis.


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.

3 comments:

  1. Could you please post a transcript or mp3 where those of us who are an ocean away can get it?

    1. I shall, but it’s more likely to be of the final version I’ll present to the conference. I’ll be lobbing up a Quicktime movie of the slides and the narration (which is easy to do with Keynote).

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