Conspiracy Theory: Truth Claim or Language Game?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The paper is a contribution to current debates about conspiracy theories within philosophy and cultural studies. Wittgenstein’s understanding of language is invoked to analyse the epistemological effects of designating particular questions and explanations as a ‘conspiracy theory’. It is demonstrated how such a designation relegates these questions and explanations beyond the realm of meaningful discourse. In addition, Agamben’s concept of sovereignty is applied to explore the political effects of using the concept of conspiracy theory. The exceptional epistemological status assigned to alleged conspiracy theories within our prevalent paradigms of knowledge and truth is compared to the exceptional legal status assigned to individuals accused of terrorism under the War on Terror. The paper concludes by discussing the relation between conspiracy theory and ‘the paranoid style’ in contemporary politics
The paper is a contribution to current debates about conspiracy theories within philosophy and cultural studies. Wittgenstein’s understanding of language is invoked to analyse the epistemological effects of designating particular questions and explanations as a ‘conspiracy theory’. It is demonstrated how such a designation relegates these questions and explanations beyond the realm of meaningful discourse. In addition, Agamben’s concept of sovereignty is applied to explore the political effects of using the concept of conspiracy theory. The exceptional epistemological status assigned to alleged conspiracy theories within our prevalent paradigms of knowledge and truth is compared to the exceptional legal status assigned to individuals accused of terrorism under the War on Terror. The paper concludes by discussing the relation between conspiracy theory and ‘the paranoid style’ in contemporary politics
LanguageEnglish
JournalTheory, Culture & Society
Volume34
Issue number1
Pages137-159
ISSN0263-2764
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Agamben
  • Contemporary politics
  • Epistemology
  • State of emergency
  • Terrorism
  • Wittgenstein

Cite this

@article{815ad14979b040009d07327893a24ee6,
title = "Conspiracy Theory: Truth Claim or Language Game?",
abstract = "The paper is a contribution to current debates about conspiracy theories within philosophy and cultural studies. Wittgenstein’s understanding of language is invoked to analyse the epistemological effects of designating particular questions and explanations as a ‘conspiracy theory’. It is demonstrated how such a designation relegates these questions and explanations beyond the realm of meaningful discourse. In addition, Agamben’s concept of sovereignty is applied to explore the political effects of using the concept of conspiracy theory. The exceptional epistemological status assigned to alleged conspiracy theories within our prevalent paradigms of knowledge and truth is compared to the exceptional legal status assigned to individuals accused of terrorism under the War on Terror. The paper concludes by discussing the relation between conspiracy theory and ‘the paranoid style’ in contemporary politics",
keywords = "Agamben, Contemporary politics, Epistemology, State of emergency, Terrorism, Wittgenstein, Agamben, Contemporary politics, Epistemology, State of emergency, Terrorism, Wittgenstein",
author = "Ole Bjerg and Thomas Presskorn-Thygesen",
year = "2017",
doi = "10.1177/0263276416657880",
language = "English",
volume = "34",
pages = "137--159",
journal = "Theory, Culture & Society",
issn = "0263-2764",
publisher = "Sage Journals",
number = "1",

}

Conspiracy Theory : Truth Claim or Language Game? / Bjerg, Ole; Presskorn-Thygesen, Thomas.

In: Theory, Culture & Society, Vol. 34, No. 1, 2017, p. 137-159.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Conspiracy Theory

T2 - Theory, Culture & Society

AU - Bjerg,Ole

AU - Presskorn-Thygesen,Thomas

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - The paper is a contribution to current debates about conspiracy theories within philosophy and cultural studies. Wittgenstein’s understanding of language is invoked to analyse the epistemological effects of designating particular questions and explanations as a ‘conspiracy theory’. It is demonstrated how such a designation relegates these questions and explanations beyond the realm of meaningful discourse. In addition, Agamben’s concept of sovereignty is applied to explore the political effects of using the concept of conspiracy theory. The exceptional epistemological status assigned to alleged conspiracy theories within our prevalent paradigms of knowledge and truth is compared to the exceptional legal status assigned to individuals accused of terrorism under the War on Terror. The paper concludes by discussing the relation between conspiracy theory and ‘the paranoid style’ in contemporary politics

AB - The paper is a contribution to current debates about conspiracy theories within philosophy and cultural studies. Wittgenstein’s understanding of language is invoked to analyse the epistemological effects of designating particular questions and explanations as a ‘conspiracy theory’. It is demonstrated how such a designation relegates these questions and explanations beyond the realm of meaningful discourse. In addition, Agamben’s concept of sovereignty is applied to explore the political effects of using the concept of conspiracy theory. The exceptional epistemological status assigned to alleged conspiracy theories within our prevalent paradigms of knowledge and truth is compared to the exceptional legal status assigned to individuals accused of terrorism under the War on Terror. The paper concludes by discussing the relation between conspiracy theory and ‘the paranoid style’ in contemporary politics

KW - Agamben

KW - Contemporary politics

KW - Epistemology

KW - State of emergency

KW - Terrorism

KW - Wittgenstein

KW - Agamben

KW - Contemporary politics

KW - Epistemology

KW - State of emergency

KW - Terrorism

KW - Wittgenstein

UR - https://sfx-45cbs.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/45cbs?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&url_ctx_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&ctx_enc=info:ofi/enc:UTF-8&ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rfr_id=info:sid/sfxit.com:azlist&sfx.ignore_date_threshold=1&rft.object_id=954925498076&rft.object_portfolio_id=&svc.holdings=yes&svc.fulltext=yes

U2 - 10.1177/0263276416657880

DO - 10.1177/0263276416657880

M3 - Journal article

VL - 34

SP - 137

EP - 159

JO - Theory, Culture & Society

JF - Theory, Culture & Society

SN - 0263-2764

IS - 1

ER -