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Episode from the podcastNot Conformed

Episode 28: Epistemic Gulag Archipelago

Released Tuesday, 20th April 2021
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Episode 28 was recorded shortly after another strict lockdown was implemented in Ontario, Canada, in order to mitigate a putative third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.  The episode begins with a discussion of the covid-related oppression of GraceLife church by the health authorities in Alberta, Canada. We then continue with an analysis of how social scientists view conspiracy theories.  We note that in general, social and political scientists view conspiracy theories as problematic and they characterize those who hold such theories as having a whole host of negative personality characteristics and dubious political motives.  To solve the putative problems associated with conspiracy theories, some social scientists advocate banning conspiracy theories, censoring conspiracy theorists, infiltrating and disrupting communities that hold conspiracy theories, re-educating the population to never question their epistemic authorities, and convincing people to defer to sanctioned experts.  We discuss the problems with these proposals and explain why conspiracy theorizing is a healthy component of democratic societies and how it helps prevent tyranny.  

Episode Timeline & Notes

0:00:00 - Opening Segment

0:00:00 -Grace Life Church
0:00:00 - Listener email
0:00:00 - Yeadon's Perspective
0:00:00 - Last episode review

0:00:00 - Conspiracy theorists as deficient humans: the social sciences perspective

0:00:00 - Solutions of social scientists & some philosophers

0:00:00 - Aggressive Offense (Sunstein & Vermeule)
0:00:00 - Education
0:00:00 - Defer to "Experts"
0:00:00 - Deplatforming/Censorship
0:00:00 -The problem with this perspective & solutions
  • Taking Conspiracy Theories Seriously (Collective Studies in Knowledge and Society) (p. 82). Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Kindle Edition.

0:00:00 - Summary and Closing


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Episode 28: Epistemic Gulag Archipelago (.mp3)