Paper Post-mortem

Short version: It was received very well, I think.

Long version: The philosopher I was most concerned with, with regards to the general tenor of the paper, was Charles Pigden. I know Charles and get along with him very well; he’s a smart, erudite, well-respected philosopher and one of the few who can be said to also:

a) be working on Conspiracy Theories, and

b) doesn’t treat them as an insignificant topic in Philosophy.

He’s also slightly more sympathetic to Conspiracy Theorists (although not to any particular Conspiracy Theory) than most of our peers, so any paper running a (very) qualified defense of “Official Stories” over Conspiracy Theories was surely going to have to do some work to be acceptable to him.

It seems, all things considered, that it was.

I flagged, as footnotes, a couple of sections in the paper as “I wonder what Charles’ response to this will be” and, in most cases, I now have an answer. Charles, quite rightly, came up with a lot of examples that show that the trust I am advocating in official sources, cannot be much more than naive, but naive trust is sometimes sufficient for particular kinds of beliefs to be justified.

One of my supervisors, Justine Kingsbury, had dinner with Charles post the paper and I will be getting some of his suggestions, via her, come the beginning of the week. Looking forward to those.

It is, I suppose, a bit strange to be so pleased that one particular person liked the paper, but that is a consequence of this academic lark. Some voices are louder and more important on certain issues.

Which is not to say that I just blithely ignored the other comments I received, which were also largely positive. I might comment more fully on them all come Monday; at the moment I’m just tired and drained from five days of boozy socialising and hours of ‘big thinking.’

Which will also mark the process of making the paper an article. I think I can devote a week to that before Christmas and/or starting the final chapter before the end of the year.