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Synopsis

What can we know and what should we believe about today's world? What to Believe Now: Applying Epistemology to Contemporary Issues applies the concerns and techniques of epistemology to a wide variety of contemporary issues. Questions about what we can know-and what we should believe-are first addressed through an explicit consideration of the practicalities of working these issues out at the dawn of the twenty-first century.

Coady calls for an 'applied turn' in epistemology, a process he likens to the applied turn that transformed the study of ethics in the early 1970s. Subjects dealt with include:

  • Experts-how can we recognize them? And when should we trust them?
  • Rumors-should they ever be believed? And can they, in fact, be a source of knowledge?
  • Conspiracy theories-when, if ever, should they be believed, and can they be known to be true?
  • The blogosphere-how does it compare with traditional media as a source of knowledge and justified belief?

Timely, thought provoking, and controversial, What to Believe Now offers a wealth of insights into a branch of philosophy of growing importance-and increasing relevance-in the twenty-first century.

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