14 April 2013


I do love the unexpected, especially when you see the unexpected coming. It seems, for reasons I cannot put my finger on for the moment, as if my whole life were a preparation for the coming weeks. The final piece of the preparation came into my life and thereafter took it's place in my library just last weekend. It is Harry G. Frankfurt's "On Bullshit." An excerpt is in order. Make what you may of this.

"What bullshit essentially represents is neither the state of affairs to which it refers nor the beliefs of the speaker concerning that state of affairs. Those are what lies represent, by virtue of being false. Since bullshit need not be false, it differs from lies in its misrepresentational intent. The bullshitter may not deceive us, or even intend to do so, either about the facts or about what he takes the facts to be. What he does necessarily attempt to deceive us about is his enterprise. His only indispensably distinctive characteristic is that in a certain way he misrepresents what he is up to."

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