The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theory: 4 Recent Publications

Conspiracy Theory: A Philosophical Defense 

(A booklet for general audiences)

SUMMARY: The phrase “conspiracy theory” is often used as a pejorative, especially by people who take themselves to be sophisticated—such as scholars, government officials, and TV news personalities—even though they will generally admit that some conspiracy theories have turned out to be true. Their dismissiveness stems, in significant measure, from the assumption that conspiracy theories imply implausibly large and malevolent conspiracies. However, the considerations offered in this booklet suggest: (1) conspiracy theories need not, and often do not, posit malevolence or implausible motivations, (2) alleged conspirators holding high office in Western countries should not be regarded as above suspicion, and (3) the scope of a (possibly well-motivated) cover-up may reasonably be expected to be considerably larger than the scope of the associated (possibly appalling) underlying conspiracy. The third finding suggests that conspiracy theories that are generally regarded as implausibly large based on the size of what may seem to be a cover-up (much of which may not be conspiratorial) may not be implausibly large after all. All this suggests that dismissing conspiracy theories because they are presumed to entail implausibly large and malevolent conspiracy theories is a mistake. Rather, each theory ought to be judged on its own particular merits, focusing on the most plausible version. 

Media Roots Radio - Late Night Existential Conversation

Media Roots Radio - Late Night Existential Conversation by Media Roots

MEDIA ROOTSRobbie & Abby Martin of Media Roots have an impromptu late night conversation about existentialism: the progression of technology and its effect on human interaction; human nature and the inability to face personal truths; reinforced perceptions of reality and societal myths keeping people in line; 9/11 & false flag terrorism, corporate collusion, the police state ruling society by fear and the unsustainable nature of global capitalism.

Article: “Is Infiltration of ‘Extremist Groups’ Justified?”

Another article supportive of the 9/11 Truth Movement is published in a mainstream academic journal:

“Is Infiltration of ‘Extremist Groups’ Justified?” International Journal of Applied Philosophy 24:2, pp. 153-168. (Fall 2010). By Kurtis Hagen, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, SUNY Plattsburgh. (Yes. That would be me.)

Website for the International Journal of Applied Philosophy:

Unfortunately the article is not freely available, but here are some highlights:

ABSTRACT: Many intellectuals scoff at what they call “conspiracy theories.” But two Harvard law professors, Cass Sunstein (now working for the Obama administration) and Adrian Vermeule, go further. They argue in the Journal of Political Philosophy that groups that espouse such theories ought to be infiltrated and undermined by government agents and allies. While some may find this proposal appalling (as indeed we all should), others may find the argument plausible, especially if they have been swayed by the notion that conspiracy theories (or a definable subset thereof), by their nature, somehow or another, do not warrant belief. I will argue that Sunstein and Vermeule’s proposal not only conflicts with the values of an open society, but is also epistemically indefensible. In making my case, I will adopt their favored example, counter-narratives about 9/11. (p. 153)

It should be noted that, according to [Sunstein and Vermeule’s] definition, the notion that the Nazis were systematically exterminating Jews would have, at some point in time, clearly counted as conspiracy theory—one that turned out to be true. This is an important example. It shows that one cannot simply reject a conspiracy theory because it seems too extreme in the brutality it attributes to powerful figures, or because of the scale of complicity that would be required, or because of the industrial efficiency with which it is said to be carried out. Shocking though a theory may be, so too are known precedents. (p. 155)

To Beat the Enemy, We Must Understand Him

Beat Your Enemy by Knowing Him

Military genius Sun Tzu said:

"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle."

In other words, you'll win every battle if you know your enemy's strengths, weaknesses and tactics in addition to your own. If you don't understand your enemy, you will win half of the time or less.

Improving our odds by at least 50% is worth it, right? So we should strive to learn as much as possible about those defending the official version of 9/11, in order to beat them in the struggle for truth.

Laugh at the Enemy