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Conspiracy Theories 

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ISBN 978-0-8126-9479-6


xiv + 241 pages


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Conspiracy Theories

Philosophers Connect the Dots

“How do we know when to take a conspiracy theory seriously? When should we dismiss conspiracy theories as the ravings of lunatics or demagogues? In this clearly written and balanced book, a diverse group of authors gives us numerous examples of conspiracy theories that turned out to be true and others that were harebrained. Readers will gain a greater understanding of the issues of truth and falsehood by pondering these insightful essays.”

 —James F. Pontuso, Patterson Professor of Government at Hampden-Sydney College and editor of Political Philosophy Comes to Rick’s: Casablanca and American Civic Culture

con·spire / / verb ‘to agree together, especially secretly, to do something wrong, evil, or illegal’. When you look at the definition, it may be that there are a whole lot more conspiracies going on out there than just the usual UFO, JFK, and 9/11 skullduggery. The authors in this book do a creative and clever job of uncovering the thinking, ideas, and beliefs behind the proverbial cover-ups.”

 —Robert Arp, Research Instructor and Analyst, US Army at Fort Leavenworth

“In the search for truth amid chaos and complexity, both devotees and dismissers of conspiracy theories will find themselves amused and engrossed by this ultimate collection of mystery and investigation. With clandestine and elaborate plots in their cross hairs, this cadre of philosophers tackle the quest for what’s real by empowering the reader to look beyond the façade of sophistication with strategies to uncover how we know what we know. Peeling away the layers of deception has never been more fun!”

 — Brian A. Kinnaird, Criminal Justice Professor, Youngstown State University

 “This is an excellent, indispensable guide to conspiracy theories. It helps you understand their origin and impact, and even provides instructions on how to create your very own conspiracy theory!”

— Charles Taliaferro, St. Olaf College

 “This outstanding book offers insight into how conspiracy theories form, are motivated, and can be persuasive to the masses (sheeple and elites alike), as well as practical tips for distinguishing well-founded conspiracy beliefs (Tuskegee) from those that maybe aren’t so much (reptilians). Even you may already be a conspiracy theorist! Or perhaps this is what they want you to think? You’ll have to read this to know for sure!”

— Jason Walker, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg

 Richard Greene is professor of philosophy at Weber State University and Director of the Richard Richards Institute for Ethics. He is the author of Spoiler Alert! (It’s a Book about the Philosophy of Spoilers) (2019).

Rachel Robison-Greene edited The Handmaid’s Tale and Philosophy: A Womb of One’s Own (2019) and co-edited The Princess Bride and Philosophy: Inconceivable! (2016).

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