Bullshit, Truth, and Reason

Bullshit, Truth, and Reason Philosophia https://doi.org/10.1007/s11406-018-9990-9 Eldar Sarajlic Received: 25 September 2017 /Revised: 7 May 2018 /Accepted: 22 May 2018 Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018 Abstract This article argues that bullshit is not an offense against truth but against reason. It maintains that bullshit occurs when speakers intentionally assert vague premises to make listeners accept their conclusions. This redefinition, I suggest, has consequences on the moral appraisal of bullshit. . . . . . Keywords Bullshit Truth Reason Lying Belief Action 1 Introduction Since the publication of Harry Frankfurt’s famous essay in 1986 and the subsequent book in 2005, bullshit has been widely accepted as a legitimate philosophical concept. Although most students still giggle when their professor uses the word in the class- room, the net effect of Frankfurt’s effort is serious: bullshit is now understood and used as a tool of analysis in humanities and social sciences. Besides linguistic interest, the attention given to bullshit is also driven by distinct moral concerns. Calling someone a bullshitter often implies a moral judgment. How- ever, we consider the bullshitter less blameworthy than the liar, although bullshitting still connotes a degree of moral culpability. But, is bullshitting a lesser evil than http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Philosophia Springer Journals

Bullshit, Truth, and Reason

Philosophia , Volume OnlineFirst – May 29, 2018
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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature
Subject
Philosophy; Philosophy, general; Epistemology; Ethics; Philosophy of Language; Philosophy of Mind; Philosophy of Science
ISSN
0048-3893
eISSN
1574-9274
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11406-018-9990-9
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Philosophia https://doi.org/10.1007/s11406-018-9990-9 Eldar Sarajlic Received: 25 September 2017 /Revised: 7 May 2018 /Accepted: 22 May 2018 Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018 Abstract This article argues that bullshit is not an offense against truth but against reason. It maintains that bullshit occurs when speakers intentionally assert vague premises to make listeners accept their conclusions. This redefinition, I suggest, has consequences on the moral appraisal of bullshit. . . . . . Keywords Bullshit Truth Reason Lying Belief Action 1 Introduction Since the publication of Harry Frankfurt’s famous essay in 1986 and the subsequent book in 2005, bullshit has been widely accepted as a legitimate philosophical concept. Although most students still giggle when their professor uses the word in the class- room, the net effect of Frankfurt’s effort is serious: bullshit is now understood and used as a tool of analysis in humanities and social sciences. Besides linguistic interest, the attention given to bullshit is also driven by distinct moral concerns. Calling someone a bullshitter often implies a moral judgment. How- ever, we consider the bullshitter less blameworthy than the liar, although bullshitting still connotes a degree of moral culpability. But, is bullshitting a lesser evil than

Journal

PhilosophiaSpringer Journals

Published: May 29, 2018

References

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