Monday, March 2, 2015

Universal conspiracy theorizing

At Daily Nous, Justin reports
Philosophers at St. Olaf College and Carleton College objected when a local pub, The Contented Cow, scheduled conspiracy theorist and Holocaust denier Jim Fetzer to give one in a series of “CowTalks” on assorted political issues. Alan Rubenstein (Carleton) withdrew from a debate with Fetzer at the Cow, and St. Olaf professors Gordon Marino, Danny Muñoz-Hutchinson, and Michael Fuerstein emailed the owner of the pub to complain. The owner sent the emails to Fetzer, who posted them online.
Those philosophers received threats, the FBI got involved and the event was canceled.

Justin might not know that Jim Fetzer is not only a prominent conspiracy theorist, whose 'work' spans the JFK assassination (of course) to 9/11 denial (including a flirtation with 'no planes theories': the claim that no large passenger planes hit the Twin Towers)  he is also a retired professor of philosophy, having taught at the department of philosophy of the University of MN at Duluth for many years. Besides conspiracy theorizing, he worked  and published in philosophy of science. Really.

I wasn't aware that he was also into Holocaust denialism, but it figures. He also believes that the massacre at Sandy Hook was a fabrication. Once you get good at setting aside the bulk of empirical evidence in favor of a few anomalies, explaining the latter in terms of the agency of immensely powerful hidden groups of people, and re-explaining the wide acceptance of the empirical evidence as a product of those same groups, you can use this explanatory device on just about anything. And he does.

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