P4C and Conspiracy Theories

We’ve wanted to do an issue on conspiracy theories for some time. It’s a tricky topic, because direct challenge can lead believers to dig-in deeper instead of reconsidering.

Fortunately, some philosophers at the University of Birmingham have created The Philosophy Garden which tackles the subject with explainer animations constructed like modern-day Aesop’s Fables with animal characters. I’ve been using them in my online classes at www.p4he.org.

You can find the rest of the videos on their website.

Lisa Bortolotti suggests presenting the videos as addressing how the animals seek explanations for surprising events. After watching the video, discuss how the characters in the story differ. There are questions for group discussion and personal reflection on the site. There are additional resources including short talks by experts, links to blog posts and interactive games, and information about the factors leading to the adoption of conspiracy theories.

There will be a live event at the MAC in Birmingham on March 18th 2024 – a screening of the videos followed by a panel discussion and Q&A. We’ll remind readers nearer the time.

Best wishes,

Jason and Tom

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