Conformity and information cascade

Conformity refers to the tendency to align one’s own attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours, to those around oneself. It is most commonly understood as trying to “fit in” with a group, as a response to social pressure, or to be perceived as “normal”. This phenomenon has been well documented by psychologists since the mid-20th century, andContinue reading “Conformity and information cascade”

Social animals. testimony, attention, and trust

In the previous post, I remarked that psychological explanations alone cannot account for the prominence of false beliefs. Rather, we must look beyond the individual to understand how beliefs take shape. In this and the next few posts, through the lens of social epistemology, I consider the social nature of our knowledge, beliefs, and values.Continue reading “Social animals. testimony, attention, and trust”

Rational animals? the limits of human reason

In my previous post, I discussed a misinformation in the context of non-human animals. However, I did not consider the psychological mechanisms that are operating ‘beneath the surface’ that enable the spread of misinformation and the adoption of inaccurate beliefs. Here, I question the limits of human reason, drawing attention to what can most aptlyContinue reading “Rational animals? the limits of human reason”

Natural? necessary? normal? nice? misinformation concerning the consumption of non-human animals

There is an abundance of misinformation, from a variety of sources, that influences how we think about non-human animals. Here, i consider misinformation in this context, through three categories – (1) Individuals/Consumers, (2) Corporations/Organisations, and (3) Media. As will become apparent, these categories overlap and interact with one another. Aside from a basic consideration ofContinue reading “Natural? necessary? normal? nice? misinformation concerning the consumption of non-human animals”

What is misinformation?

Misinformation refers, in the broadest sense, to false information. This term is used in a variety of contexts, sometimes interchangeably with other similar terms, such as disinformation or propaganda, or with buzzwords like fake-news, which can result in confusion about this topic. In their 2018 book, Network Propaganda: Manipulation, Disinformation, and Radicalization in American Politics,Continue reading “What is misinformation?”

A (very) brief overview of animal ethics and an argument for ethical veganism

The field of animal ethics considers our interaction, in the broadest sense of the term, with non-human animals. It interrogates the moral consideration we extend to them, examines our relations with them, and provides guidance on the moral permissibility of our interactions with them. An increasing number of moral philosophers, from a range of theoreticalContinue reading “A (very) brief overview of animal ethics and an argument for ethical veganism”