It cites a article in The American Historical Review as the earliest usage example,   although it also appears in journals as early as April Lance deHaven-Smith has suggested that the term has entered everyday language in USA inyear in which New York Times ran five stories with mention of the term.
The human species has evolved as pattern-seeking, cause-inferring animals.
As such, our nature drives us to find meaningful relationships to understand the world. Conspiracy, originally a neutral term, has acquired a somewhat derogatory meaning since the mid sixties, for it implies a paranoid tendency to see the influence of some malign covert agency in certain events.
Conspiracy theorizing has become commonplace in the mass media and emerged as a cultural phenomenon in the United States following the public assassination of JFK.
EXPLORE OUR COURSES. Use the filters in the search box to search by the type of course you require. Click on the course to view the description. The comfort of conspiracy theory is that it provides a well-defined enemy and a sense of control (or at least structure) in the face of upheaval and disempowerment; the tendency to perceive conspiracy is more common in groups experiencing social isolation or political marginalization. “But wherever they may fall on a conspiracy theory, one of the main goals is to sharpen their skills of critical thinking.” Chandler agreed. “We even encourage students to bring their own conspiracy theories with them to class,” he said.
Noam Chomsky, linguist and scholar, contrasts conspiracy theory as, more or less, the opposite of institutional analysis. The latter focuses mostly on explanations based on the information found in official records of publicly known institutions, whereas the former offers explanations based on information derived from coalitions of individuals.
Most academics, or the rational community, find the conspiracy theories of popular culture to be silly and without merit, and automatically dismiss such alternative explanations as ridiculous, misconceived, unfounded, outlandish and the result of irrational thinking by paranoid schizophrenics.
One might perhaps like to insist here that UCTs ought to be false, and this is why we are not warranted in believing them, but it is in the nature of many conspiracy theories that they cannot be falsified.
The best we may do is show why the warrant for believing them is so poor. It is not their lack of falsifiability per se, but a belief in an increasingly massive conspiracy theory that undermines the grounds for believing in anything. Accepting the UCT explanation requires one to question too many of the various institutions that have been set up to generate reliable data and evidence in our world.
If you look at the traditional critical thinking literature, one of it’s central tenets is the teaching of the recognition of logical fallacies, and the understanding that the deployment of logical fallacies is poor argument. Over the last few years I’ve used belief in conspiracy theories, as a mechanism to teach rational thinking and. BC Home > CAS > TIP Sheets > Critical Thinking Skills > TIP Sheet The conjectures and rumors surrounding Area 51 comprise a revered conspiracy theory (many theories, actually). Conspiracy theories are leaner, more restrained, more limited in scope than conspiracism. A conspiracy theory alleges that a secret conspiracy involving hidden. The comfort of conspiracy theory is that it provides a well-defined enemy and a sense of control (or at least structure) in the face of upheaval and disempowerment; the tendency to perceive conspiracy is more common in groups experiencing social isolation or political marginalization.
And finally, as the theory grows to include more and more people and institutions and yet remains unverified, the less plausible the conspiracy becomes; because, it stands to reason that, at some point, someone would have come forward with the missing and necessary data.
Keeley admits that academics are entitled to dismiss a conspiracy theory if a belief in that alternative explanation undermines the grounds for believing in anything. Furthermore, we are entitled to dismiss a mature conspiracy if it involves too many people.
Governmental agencies, even those as regulate and controlled as the military and intelligence agencies, are plagued with leaks and rumors. To propose that an explosive secret could be closeted for any length of time simply reveals a lack of understanding of the nature of modern bureaucracies.
Like the world itself, they are made up of too many people with too many different agendas to be easily controlled. Everything that can be shown to be true about the mature conspiracy theory—unfalsiabiality, skepticism, epistemically dubious—applies to the narrative of The Event.
A close look at the JFK assassination mature conspiracy will illustrate my point. Neither the institutional nor the conspiratorial explanation of the event is a warranted belief and should be dismissed on epistemic grounds.
That is, there is sufficient reason to believe that the institutional view, just like the conspiratorial view, of the JFK assassination is false, yet neither view can be falsified.
A conspiratorial explanation of the nature and logistics of The Event is really no more or less rational and logical as the institutional narrative. Thus, Keeley should have written: Anomalies and discrepancies surface immediately upon the announcement of The Event and increase as the conspiracy matures.
Again, the JFK Assassination illustrates my point. The rational community ignores the details of the rifle, the bullet and the witnesses who heard other shots from other directions errant data on the grounds that there is no reliable way to gather social data, as opposed to scientific, data about the human world.
They escape the obvious improbability question by correctly pointing out that the errant data, even if true, does not constitute proof of anything, especially that the event was a conspiracy.
Related to errant data is what we shall refer to as the Conspiracy Theory Paradox. And then, inexplicably, that same errant data is ubiquitously exposed in the media for everyone to question. Although the existence of a Paradox or Errant Data could never be offered as proof that the Event was a conspiracy, they are none the less consistent, though not proof, with a conspiracy to make you believe the event was a conspiracy.
A degenerative research program is one where the auxiliary hypotheses and initial conditions are continually modified in light of new evidence in order to protect the original theory from apparent disconfirmation.
What can we say about the institutional narrative, the Conspiracy Theory Paradox and the Errant Data? Kennedy, who himself is assassinated the next day by another lone assassin — would cause even the most rational skeptic, or critical thinker, to question the institutional narrative of the events.
Is there any justification for a belief that the Warren Commission properly investigated the assassination of JFK when they concluded Oswald acted alone when he used a heavily oiled cheap rifle with a distorted sight, hidden in a paper sack later discovered on the sixth floor without a trace of oil, to for his miraculous feat of marksmanship with extraordinary accuracy at a moving target in minimal time?
The Warren Commission when faced with the impossibility of the shooting came up with the single bullet theory: If a kind of academic snobbishness underlies our previous refusal to get involved here, there may be another reason.the lenses of theories.
The college-bound seniors in my course, who hail from several countries and To teach literary theory is to teach critical thinking about texts of all kinds.
Recent scholarship has broadened the defini-tion of literacy, offering statements like Gee’s that Teach the How: Critical Lenses and Critical Literacy. If you look at the traditional critical thinking literature, one of it’s central tenets is the teaching of the recognition of logical fallacies, and the understanding that the deployment of logical fallacies is poor argument.
Over the last few years I’ve used belief in conspiracy theories, as a mechanism to teach rational thinking and. Critical Thinking. Course Code. GCRT Academic Year. We live in a world awash in data and facts from the internet, television, newspapers and podcasts, to name only a few.
It is often said that facts speak for themselves.
Humber College has been chosen as one of: Canada's Greenest Employers. Humber College is one of . Humber College Conspiracy Theories And Critical Thinking The Cargo Letter Vessel Casualties nbsp; SPECIAL NOTE: The reference to. Humber College Logo. Main menu. GUIDE.
Conspiracy Theories and Critical Thinking. Course Code. CULT Conspiracy theories have been with us for hundreds of years. From the Freemasons, to the JFK assassination, to the moon landing, to the September 11th attacks, people have wondered if they are getting the real story, and whether there.
There is no reason to unilaterally dismiss conspiracy theories. The Critical Thinking Trap: How the “Conspiracy Theory” Label Undermines the Truth. they are none the less consistent, though not proof, with a conspiracy to make you believe the event was a conspiracy.
 The Critical Thinking Trap.