What’s Wrong With Conspiracy Theories?

Since this title can be read in two different ways, I’ll state: James H. Fetzer is a defender and not a critic of the idea. He has done, or assembled, results of the most extensive investigations ever conducted of the Kennedy assassinations (there were two of them, after all, and in neither case does the official story stand up to criticism). These results blow the Warren Commission Report out of the water. Obtain Assassination Science: Experts Speak Out on the Death of JFK (1998) which he edited.

Professor Emeritus Fetzer has also written and edited numerous well-received works in the philosophy of science, cognitive science, research into artificial intelligence, critical thinking, and all the cognate areas, all with major publishers. Why his own critical thinking skills should mysteriously desert him when it comes to conspiracy claims is, or ought to be, a complete mystery.

So where does the topic stand now, in 2021? If you read mainstream news, you might come away with the impression that being a “conspiracy theorist” is a mark of irrationality. My conclusion, which I suspect Fetzer would share, is that conspiracy theory / theorist are nothing more than weaponized phrases. They are signs, written by apologists of dominant narratives, of points of view or lines of thought we are not supposed to go down. They open doors those with wealth and power would rather remained closed and locked.

So is there merit to “conspiratorial” thinking? Go here, learn, and perhaps gain a little wisdom (the love of which being what philosophy was supposed to be about).


About Steven Yates

I have a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Georgia and teach Critical Thinking (mostly in English) at Universidad Nacionale Andrés Bello in Santiago, Chile. I moved here in 2012 from South Carolina. My most recent book is entitled Four Cardinal Errors: Reasons for the Decline of the American Republic (2011). I am the author of an earlier book, around two dozen articles & reviews, & still more articles on commentary sites on the Web. I live in Santiago with my wife Gisela & two spoiled cats, Bo & Princesa.
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1 Response to What’s Wrong With Conspiracy Theories?

  1. mark says:

    Very interesting article. I was wondering what your thoughts are on the so-called “Fabian Conspiracy” as analyzed in Fabian Freeway by Rose Martin and The Milner-Fabian Conspiracy by Ioan Ratiu. It seems to me that works of this type are based on fact not on some nebulous “conspiracy theory”. They also fit in with works by Fabians such as H G Wells’ Open Conspiracy describing an overarching agenda to create a new world order controlled by a Fabian Socialist-style central government.

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