I have suspected for quite some time now that, in the last year, I had read all there was in the Philosophical community on the subject of Conspiracy Theories. I was glad to be partially vindicated and surprised today upon reading the contents page of David Coady’s ‘Conspiracy Theories: The Philosophical Debate.’
Vindicated because all the articles in there I had read; surprised because a) I had never heard of Coady and b) because the book contains not only the articles I had read but a few follow-ups, never before published, by those various authors explaining their views here and now.
Hooray (thought I), new material.
For the last few months my reading has mostly been journalist’s reports and conspiracy theorist diatribes. It isn’t as fun as it sounds; as a sceptic I end up looking for where I think the account fails to be strongly suggestive of a conspiracy and sometimes the authors make it all too easy to find error. The few cases (historical) where conspiracy is evident don’t quite have the panache of a global malevolent conspiracy. The death of Caesar is interesting and important, but it pales in comparison to claims about the Bilderberg Group seeking to destroy Western Civilisation through some kind of radical secular democracy. And let’s not forget the reptiles.
So, when I find new Philosophy that excites me in a way that shows that, yes, I am destined for the tweed suit and an awkward laugh in social situations. More importantly, it’s the kind of stuff that Departmental Head’s like to see; peer reviewed material is much more exciting to the tenured lecturers and colleagues than a journalist with intuition and the ability to make connections where, let’s face it, they sometimes don’t plausibly fit.
Expect a little more philosophising in the next few weeks as I digest this material and work out ways to rephrase it as my own work. Because that’s what academics do. Even the good ones.