1 November 2018

Professor Daniel Cohnitz in "De Telegraaf"

The dangers of conspiracy thinking

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On November 1st, Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf published an article in which Professor Daniel Cohnitz (Theoretical Philosophy) talks about the dangers of conspiracy thinking.

Prof. dr. Daniel Cohnitz.  Foto: Ed van Rijswijk
Professor Daniel Cohnitz. Photo: Ed van Rijswijk

The belief in conspiracy theories, usually initiated by a loss of trust in institutions, is rather common. The media often substantiate such theories. “You may say that a critical view towards institutions is good: on politics, media, religion and the EU. But when trust in those public institutions fades, populists such as Orbán, Trump, Putin and Erdogan profit. They claim to have a direct connection to their voters and consciously increase distrust of institutions, partly by utilizing conspiracy theories. You have to be very careful with that,” Cohnitz argues in De Telegraaf. In order to understand conspiracy thinkers, we have to understand the source of the loss of trust in instutions, but academics have not found and answer to this problem yet.