Between beliefs, doubts, risks and causes. The interpretive style of epidemiology and conspiracy theories

  • Flavio Valerio Alessi
Keywords: Semiotics, Epidemiology, Conspiracy theories, Pseudo-science, Narrativity, Forms of life, Covid-19, Sars-CoV-2, Vaccine Campaign, Anti-vax


This paper focuses on the interpretive styles of epidemiology and conspiracy-pseudo-scientific theories from a semiotic point of view, referring to the case of the interruption of the AstraZeneca vaccine campaign in Italy - March 2021. In order to understand the structural specificities of these styles, my approach consists in analysing the kind of epistemic and intersubjective criteria and practices through which the unknown risk factor is interpreted and the relative hypothesis is evaluated. I will refer to these features as the concrete realizations of the collective ethos of these forms of life, meaning a shared set of values that determine these practices and criteria and is shaped by them at the same time. Following this path, the mediating instance between the interpretive style of an epidemiologic or conspiracy hypothesis and the respective shared ethos is found in the enunciative praxis of these forms of life. The enunciative praxis determines the movements and criteria for the production and evaluation of every hypothesis. Thus, following this proposal, I will analyse epidemiology and conspiracy’s interpretive styles, enunciative praxis and forms of life, referring to the AstraZeneca case


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How to Cite
Alessi, F. V. (2021) “Between beliefs, doubts, risks and causes. The interpretive style of epidemiology and conspiracy theories”, Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del Linguaggio. doi: 10.4396/SFL2021A02.