Epistemic closure

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Epistemic closure is a condition in which a given population has access only to a body of centrally-approved information, with the goal of convincing said population that a certain set of beliefs is true, despite evidence to the contrary.


It achieves this goal by:

  • immersing the audience in a body of works which all agree on the target belief
    • ...where said works frequently cite and cross-reference each other, to encourage the idea that the target beliefs are widely-held and not seriously disputed
  • discouraging the audience from consulting any sources outside this body by using emotional arguments (e.g. stating that non-approved works are untrustworthy, immoral, or harmful, or that taking non-approved works seriously may result in ostracism)


Epistemic closure is found frequently in US conservative philosophy and punditry, as well as in many religions.