Monday, November 29, 2010

Research notes: Conspiracy theory

Conspiracy theory - Definition

A conspiracy theory is a theory that defies common historical or current understanding of events, under the claim that those events are the result of manipulations by two or more individuals or various secretive powers or conspiracies.
Colloquially, a conspiracy theory is any unconventional theory about current or historical events, with the connotation that that theory is unfounded, outlandish, or irrational or in some way unworthy of serious consideration. In this sense, the term is sometimes used to refer to events with which no association to an actual "conspiracy" in the legal sense (two or more persons plotting and one overt act related to the plot) is claimed. In this sense "conspiracy theory" is often simply an allegation of clandestine action, based on little or no solid evidence. Thus the expression "conspiracy theory" in common speech is often used as a term of derision for an allegation that the speaker considers unproven, unlikely, or false.
Conspiracy theories in general allege that some particular event — such as an assassination, a revolution, or even the failure of a product — resulted not solely from the visible action of overt political or market forces, but rather from intentional covert action.

1 Conspiracy in a legal and historic sense
10 External links