Friday, February 02, 2007

"On Bullshit" by Harry G. Frankfurt

At the risk of being censored I'm going to review this book anyway. Yes, that's the name of the book. Or rather a mini-book.

Harry G. Frankfurt is Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Princeton University, and has written this philosophical essay on the subject of Bullshit. In this 67 page book he discusses what can and can't be properly termed as Bullshit.

Using actual historical examples and the Oxford English Dictionary, Professor Frankfurt clarifies what Bullshit is. I think I can sum it up as follows:

"The mode of creativity upon which it{Bullshit} relies is less analytical and less deliberative than that which is mobilized in lying. It is more expansive and independent, with more spacious opportunities for Improvisation, color, and imaginative play. this is less a matter of craft than art"

So the Bullshit artist is an artist

"Since bullshit need not be false, it differs from lies in its misrepresentational intent."

So Bullshit is only to misrepresent no matter if true or false.

And in closing:

"Sincerity itself is Bullshit."

The fun part of this book is reading the wordplay that finally arrives at the final outcome. At times humorous and at times very philosophical, this book is a neat read.

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posted by Gil T. @ 10:44 PM Comments: 0