Talk about fiction is pretty common in the literature on conspiracy theories. Many have argued that we live in a “post-truth age” in which the boundaries between fiction and reality get easily confused; conspiracy theories, on these views, are fictions that somehow take over our lives, coming to play a hypertrophic role in them. Even though this way of speaking is common, however, it has never been carefully scrutinised. The aim of this chapter is to do that, seeking to clarify whether and to what extents the characterisation of conspiracy theories in terms of fiction is appropriate, and what are its implications for the phenomenon of conspiracism more in general. The author argues that conspiracy theories do indeed qualify as fiction in at least one broad sense of the term—the one famously defined by Kendall Walton, based on the notion of make-believe. Many cases of conspiracy theories’ endorsement can indeed be described in terms of games of make-believe in which such theories are used as props, thereby qualifying as “walt-fictions”. Some important consequences of this view for the question of conspiracy theories’ epistemic rationality are discussed to conclude.

Conspiracy theories as walt-fiction / A. Ichino - In: The Philosophy of Fiction : Imagination and Cognition / [a cura di] P. Engisch, J. Langkau. - [s.l] : Routledge, 2022. - ISBN 9781003139720. - pp. 240-261 [10.4324/9781003139720-16]

Conspiracy theories as walt-fiction

A. Ichino
2022

Abstract

Talk about fiction is pretty common in the literature on conspiracy theories. Many have argued that we live in a “post-truth age” in which the boundaries between fiction and reality get easily confused; conspiracy theories, on these views, are fictions that somehow take over our lives, coming to play a hypertrophic role in them. Even though this way of speaking is common, however, it has never been carefully scrutinised. The aim of this chapter is to do that, seeking to clarify whether and to what extents the characterisation of conspiracy theories in terms of fiction is appropriate, and what are its implications for the phenomenon of conspiracism more in general. The author argues that conspiracy theories do indeed qualify as fiction in at least one broad sense of the term—the one famously defined by Kendall Walton, based on the notion of make-believe. Many cases of conspiracy theories’ endorsement can indeed be described in terms of games of make-believe in which such theories are used as props, thereby qualifying as “walt-fictions”. Some important consequences of this view for the question of conspiracy theories’ epistemic rationality are discussed to conclude.
Settore M-FIL/01 - Filosofia Teoretica
Settore M-FIL/04 - Estetica
Settore M-FIL/05 - Filosofia e Teoria dei Linguaggi
2022
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/971989
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