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 21st 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:
- 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 21st century.