Giulia Napolitano on Conspiracy Theories and Propaganda
Department: Center for Knowledge, Technology & SocietyPost Date: December 10, 2020
UCI PhD student, Giulia Napolitano, will be speaking on 'Conspiracy Theories and Propaganda' at the University of Innsbruck on Wednesday 16th December, 6pm (CET). You can join this event here.
Abstract: In a recent book, Quassim Cassam argues that we should understand conspiracy theories primarily as a political phenomenon. Conspiracy theories, for him, are forms of political propaganda. In this talk, I offer an epistemological account of conspiracy theories in order to spell out the relation between conspiracy theories, ideology, and political propaganda. On my view, conspiracy theorists hold their conspiratorial beliefs in a way that is completely immune to revision by counterevidence. The particular form of irrationality that conspiracy theories instantiate can explain why spreading conspiracy theories—spreading self-insulated beliefs— works so successfully as a way of promoting harmful political ideologies.