Thesis Update: The Thick of It

You know, it doesn’t seem all that long ago that I promised that this blog would be all about upcoming chapter revisions, snippets of thesis writing and, well, a diary of how I was/am getting closer and closer to completion. I suspect I only really managed to keep that up for about two weeks, then I didn’t post anything for a while, and then it was back to sporadic postings borne of a need to make it look as if the blog was being updated.

Sigh.

Still, the Christchurch Earthquake material seems to have resonated with my now tripled-in-size audience and I have plans to spend a bit of time looking in/over the local version of the Chemtrails story. I also have enough new material to eventually write another post in the earthquake series. Indeed, I’m seeing a host of potential articles on matters local post the thesis.

Ah, post the thesis. What a wonderful term, and one I am beginning to believe has a truth value of “1.” Work has slowed down slightly; I had hoped to be at the end of the drafting process and in the final revision stage by now, but the latest chapter has spawned a child.

Chapter 7 (although it could end up being chapter four or five) is my analysis of the Inference to Any Old Explanation and how I think that explains our prima facie suspicion of conspiracy theories (because conspiracy theories require an Inference to the Existence of a Conspiracy and most, but not all, Inferences to the Existence of a Conspiracy are Inferences to Any Old Explanation) and, for a time, I thought that one way to explicate the Inference to Any Old Explanation was to talk about how we can design explanatory hypotheses to get the results we want. I have been persuaded that this design hypothesis of mine, which now goes by the much more inelegant but accurate name of “Selective Evidence,” really isn’t part and parcel of my analysis of Inferences to Any Old Explanation and is a separate idea which deserves its own chapter.

Which it is getting.

So, that’s the work in progress update. I would write more but, really, I should write less here and put the effort of the next paragraph or two into the open window on screen two, the one entitled “Inference2.tex.”

Trah.


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.