Conspiracy Theories and the Internet: Controlled Demolition and Arrested Development
Following Clarke (2002), a Lakatosian approach is used to account for the epistemic development of conspiracy theories. It is then argued that the hypercritical atmosphere of the internet has slowed down the development of conspiracy theories, discouraging conspiracy theorists from articulating explicit versions of their favoured theories, which could form the hard core of Lakatosian research programmes. The argument is illustrated with a study of the “controlled demolition” theory of the collapse of three towers at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. © 2007, Cambridge University Press. All rights reserved.