Public Service Announcement

Mr. Ransome, that purveyor of fine delights philosophical, is giving a seminar next week. one that you want to go to (or, so he tells me). Here be some details:

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.