Lying Fallow

So, it’s been a wee bit quiet here at ‘All Embracing.’ I’ve been making new and exciting revisions to the Kaikoura piece and it has, frankly, taken up most of my time. When I’m not rewriting myself out of corners I’ve been reading a whole lot of current Epistemology primers and I’m not so sure that my readership is interested in the different approaches to ‘Forcing.’

Still, things change. On Wednesday of next week (or this week if you are reading this tomorrow) I am giving a new, much improved, version of the Kaikoura Paper to the Department of Philosophy at the University of Auckland. You are, my readers, welcome to attend. Details follow:

Conspiracies then, now and tomorrow: How do past instances affect the likelihood of similar events now?
21 March 2007, 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Venue: Room 202, Fisher Building, 18 Waterloo Quadrant

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.