Professor Awarded $300+K to Study 9/11 ‘Vice Epistemology’.


by James Tracy

Professor Quassim Cassam has been awarded £250,000 (or $391, 737) by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) UK to study what he calls ‘intellectual vices’. The title of his project is ‘Vice Epistemology’.

He believes his research could help to explain how certain claims – for example that 9/11 was masterminded by the US government – are able to gain so much traction.

His findings may also shed light on why some people are susceptible to becoming radicalised in ways that make them potential recruits for extremist organisations such as Islamic State.

Prof Cassam said: “In 2008, a global poll of over 16,000 people found fewer than half believed that al-Qaeda was responsible for the 9/11 attacks, with a significant number attributing the collapse of the World Trade Centre towers to a controlled demolition by the US government.

“We live in a world where strange conspiracy theories such as this abound, often with dire social and political consequences. But how are such beliefs to be explained?

“My project as an AHRC Leadership Fellow is about the possible role of intellectual vices in fuelling these beliefs. By intellectual vices I mean intellectual character traits such as gullibility, closed-mindedness, prejudice and dogmatism. What I call vice epistemology is the philosophical study of the nature and significance of such character traits.”

He added: “There are some true conspiracy theories, such as Watergate, but the philosophically interesting ones are those that are clearly false and refuted by best available evidence.



The depths of denial he plans to stoop to

It's beyond ludicrous for Cassam to ridicule as a "vice" the disbelief - based on the careful study of evidence - in the government's official conspiracy theory that 19 Muslim hijackers "single-handedly" pulled off the crimes of 9/11. What a joke.
This seems better fit for a laugh in The Onion than a serious, intellectually rigorous, enlightening study. Obviously, it will amount to a feeble propaganda piece to reinforce the very "gullibility, closed-mindedness, prejudice and dogmatism" that he states he will unearth in others. (Oh, the mirror is just a little too clear, Cass!)
That is, of course, unless he has the integrity and intellectual honesty to question his own assumptions, which as a Philosophy lecturer, he should be trained to do. Is it too much to hope? Starting with his announced unabashed bias, it is hard to imagine him making even meaningful inquiries, let alone conclusions. Since his "research" is government-funded, albeit British, is it at all possible that he will be tempted to think like a government employee who wishes to keep his University job and plum funding by supporting an official, highly useful government lie? .... Nah.

(No subject)