Over the weekend of the 9th of February I will be attending a conference in Kaikoura. It is a Postgraduate Philosophy Conference and apparently we will get chance to see some dolphins if we so desire. I know an awful lot about human-dolphin mating habits so am quite tempted to see one of these beasties up close just so I can contemplate, visually, just what some naughty divers have been doing in them there waters.
But enough smut. The major reason why I am going to the conference is that I am giving a paper there. I haven’t written a single word of it yet, but I do have an abstract that should prove useful in a week when I start panicking. It goes something like this:
Conspiracies Then, Now and Tomorrow: How Do Past Instances Affect the Likelihood of Similar Events Now?
It is an historical fact that Conspiracies have occurred but does this tell us anything about whether there are any Conspiracies going on here and now? In this presentation I seek to explain how past instances of historical conspiracies may not be a reliable indicator of the likelihood of conspiracies here and now. I will look at the works of such philosophers as Charles Pigden, who has argued that the past instances of Conspiracies does give us positive warrant about the existence of Conspiracies today and Lee Basham, who has argued that the increasing openness of modern Western society counsels us against believing that Conspiracies are as common as once they were. In sorting this issue out it will be important to draw a careful distinction between actual Conspiracies and the theories about whether such Conspiracies are occurring, to whit Conspiracy Theories.Â
I’ve been to conferences before and I’ve given papers galore. Still, this should give me ample material for the next few weeks of blog posts. At the moment I am doing a lot of thesis-related reading but it’s not exactly conversation-stimulating. Expect a few angst posts as this blog heads towards the emo-norm.