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November 20 , 2007

What to Believe Now

Applying Epistemology to Contemporary Issues


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:

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Many developing and emerging countries do not fully pass-through increases in international fuel prices to domestic retail prices, with adverse consequences for fuel tax revenues and tax volatility. The adoption of an automatic fuel pricing mechanism can help to address this problem, and the incorporation of a price smoothing mechanism can ensure…

  • 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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