On Bullshit

We need to expand our horizons for a bit, I think.
CS's interesting philosophical m*sing/pop culture reference of the week: BS.

Twenty years ago a Yale philosopher gave a lecture about the space between truth and lies. He called his subject, parochially, "bullshit." He published the lecture "On Bullshit" in a small academe press, and got a few emails over the years from colleagues who'd read it. It was standard philosophical stuff, with the exception of the title. Then, last year some publishing house approached him (Harry Frankfurt) and said they wanted to republish the essay, as a full book -- manipulating the length with big margins and large font. Guess what? It came out a few months ago and On Bullshit is now an international bestseller. So far it's sold 175,000 copies in the US and is being eaten up in Britain.

"Bullshit remains bullshit whether it's true or false. The difference lies in the bullshitter's complete disregard for whether what he's saying corresponds to facts in the physical world: he "does not reject the authority of the truth, as the liar does, and oppose himself to it. He pays no attention to it at all."

Suggested discussion points:

- The power of a title
- Which is worse to you, the liar or bullshitter?
- What do you think of frequent BS'ers? Do they have P.D.'s?

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