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Conspiracy Theories and Religion: Reframing Conspiracy Theories as Bliks

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 December 2019

Abstract

Conspiracy theories have largely been framed by the academy as a stigmatised form of knowledge. Yet recent scholarship has included calls to take conspiracy theories more seriously as an area of study with a desire to judge them on their own merits rather than an a priori dismissal of them as a class of explanation. This paper argues that the debates within the philosophy of religion, long overlooked by scholars of conspiracy theories, can help sow the seeds for re-examining our understanding of conspiracy theories in a more balanced and nuanced way. The nature of religious belief is elemental to understanding the epistemological foundations of the conspiracy theorising worldview amidst what we may call ‘conspiratorial ambiguity’. Specifically, R.M. Hare's concept of bliks, which are unfalsifiable but meaningful worldviews, offers a way forward to reframe our approach towards the theory of conspiracy theories.

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Episteme , Volume 18 , Issue 4 , December 2021 , pp. 674 - 692
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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2019

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