Extremism - The Philosopher's Zone - ABC Radio National
13th March 2022
There's no shortage of extreme opinion or extreme rhetoric in the public arena at the moment - even extreme behaviour, as people under the spell of paranoid ideologies seek to overthrow governments and roll back vaccine programs. But can all people who hold extreme views be fairly described as "extremists"? Extremism is a slippery concept. Its connotations are perjorative but at a glance, it can be difficult to see what differentiates extremism from more acceptable forms of fringe belief such as radicalism. Is it possible to be an extremist in the name of a morally worthy cause? and how should we deal with extremists in our midst?
Extremism Is the New Normal - WhoWhatWhy
17th December 2021
Professor Quassim Cassam argues that only by acknowledging the seductive appeal of extremism, conspiracy theories, and terrorism can we get a handle on the underlying forces at play in our politics today. Be it on the left or right, Cassam explains how practitioners of extremism take advantage of human nature, particularly our tendencies toward anger, resentment, and a sense of grievance. Cassam’s analysis makes clear why narratives of extremism always seem to crowd more moderate beliefs out of the political conversation — even when moderation is bolstered by its convergence with the truth.
What Makes a Political Extremist?
7th October 2021
Quassim Cassam of the University of Warwick discusses the philosophical distinctions of a political extremist, the link between extremism and conspiracy theory, and how the current political conditions in the US eerily resemble those that created the 9/11 hijackers.
Tent Talks with Cody Turner: Extremism
9th April 2021
Quassim Cassam speaks with Cody Turner on the topic of extremism. Dr. Cassam is a professor of philosophy at the University of Warwick and has made contributions to many different areas of the field. A lot of his earlier work focuses more on traditional topics in epistemology, like the concept of knowledge, self-knowledge, and transcendental epistemology. Recently, however, Professor Cassam has been doing work in what has been called vice epistemology and has been applying this work to real world issues. He’s written on the topic of terrorism and radicalization, conspiracy thinking, medicine, and most recently, extremism.
ABC Future Tense: Is dumbness our destiny?
23rd May 2021
Most of us are healthier, wealthier and better educated than ever before. We have greater access to knowledge and expertise than any previous generation. So, why do humans keep doing stupid things? And why is the world awash with conspiracy? Have we already passed “peak intelligence”? And if so, what can we do to ensure a smarter future?
Why We Argue: Conspiracy Theories and Democracy with Quassim Cassam
23rd March 2021
Conspiracy Theories and Democracy with Quassim Cassam - Quassim’s research focus is epistemology, the area of philosophy that deals with topics pertaining to knowledge, how it is acquired, and how it is shared. His most current work is devoted to analyzing the various ways in which the pursuit of knowledge can be subverted. And this has led him to investigate the idea of intellectual vices, habits of thought that systematically led us astray. In this episode, we talk about conspiracy theories: What are they? How do they spread? What is their relevance for democracy?
The Philosopher & The News - Quassim Cassam on Conspiracy Theories
25th January 2021
The SARS-Covid-2 pandemic brought to the surface something that has accompanied other pandemics in the past: conspiracy theories. Now, with several vaccines having been developed, the conspiracy theories have turned to them.
But how should we understand conspiracy theories? And why do people find them so attractive? Do the producers of conspiracy theories really believe in them? And what does the rise of populism have to do with the proliferation of conspiracy theories? Quassim Cassam, argues that the main function of conspiracy theories is political propaganda.
How Democracy’s Decline Fuels Conspiratorial Knowledge
11th December 2019
Quassim Cassam discusses Conspiracy Theories in conversation with Ty Joplin.
Intellectual Vices and What to Do About Them
26th August 2019
Quassim Cassam talks with Sean Caroll about the nature of intellectual vices, how they manifest in people and in organizations, and what we can possibly do to correct them in ourselves.
Vices of the Mind
From the Intellectual to the Political
1st August 2019
Sometimes people are blameworthy or otherwise not admirable because of what they believe. And sometimes they are blameworthy or otherwise not admirable because of how they believe – broadly, their ways of thinking, inquiring, handling evidence, and managing information. We sometimes criticize others for being careless, dogmatic, gullible, and so on. These evaluations often have the form of appraisals of the persons to whom they are applied. So, just as we might speak of intellectual virtues, we can also speak of intellectual vices.
Why We Argue - Conspiracy Theories
"Why We Argue" is an interview podcast from Humility & Conviction in Public Life that explores the triumphs and disasters of American political conversation. Hosted by Political Philosopher and Vanderbilt University Professor Robert Talisse, "Why We Argue" questions political scientists, philosophers, journalists, historians, politicians, citizens, and the great political minds of our era on how we got here. Bringing together people from all sides of the political spectrum, Talisse navigates why a little more humility and a little less dogma could go a long way.
Resistance to Change - Philosophy 24/7
Your boss tells you that from now on your department will be doing things differently. To improve productivity there will be minor adjustments to the shift pattern, to the technology and to the organizational structure. Do you welcome these changes? No, then perhaps you are resistant to change? Quassim Cassam is here to tell us whether that is a character flaw.