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Close reading On Bullshit by Harry Frankfurt - Essay Example

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Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 14 November 2011 On Bullshit by Harry Frankfurt In the essay, the writer goes into the meaning and significance of the word bullshit. The very idea of analysis of this word seems eccentric and even childish, but the arguments provided in the essay should not be taken lightly…
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Close reading On Bullshit by Harry Frankfurt
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"Close reading On Bullshit by Harry Frankfurt"

Download file to see previous pages Still, we don’t know the real reason for his curiosity in the word. It is only in the last pages of the essay he says that people craft their bullshit according to their targets needs. He mentions things such as market research and opinion polls, which help bullshitters manufacture their bullshit and serve it efficiently. The real reason behind the essay can be his disgust towards the bullshit that he finds around him. There are politicians, economist and psychologists who claim to know everything in their chosen field. But the results of their actions don’t seem to be helping the societies or countries. He might be having a feeling that everyone is groping in the dark or in other words, just bullshitting. The essay then investigates into the real meaning of the word bullshit. No research can be conducted independent of previous researches. It is for this reason that Harry dissects the definition of the word ‘Humbug’. He says that bullshit and humbug are too close words differing only in the manner of their deliverance and not content. Then he divides the definition of humbug provided by Max Black into following sets of words – 1- Deceptive misrepresentation. 2- Short of lying 3- Especially by pretentious word or deed. 4- Misrepresentation of…. somebody’s own thoughts, feelings and attitudes. ...
To this Wittgenstien replies that Pascal doesn’t know how a dog feels after its run over by something. The point the writer makes is that people are careless towards organizing facts and so they bullshit their way through. These people are not honest, neither are they liars, they are just bullshitters. The essay argues that liars are less harmful than bullshitters because liars can be held accountable for their lies. But no such thing exists for bulshit. The essay is very successful in shedding light on the phenomenon of bullshit. It makes a clear distinction between lying and bullshitting. It is very successful in emphasizing the problem of bullshit. Bullshitters are unreliable and more dangerous than dishonest people. The essay argues that liars know what truth is and are at the opposite end of the spectrum of honesty with truthful people at the other end. But bullshitters lie somewhere in between and what makes them so dangerous is that they ‘don’t care’ to know the truth. They just assume things, make up stories and also repeat what they hear somewhere else. The article understands the meaning and the functioning of the phenomenon of bullshit. It explains that people bullshit in order to achieve some objective. But there are a few things which are lacking in the analysis. Since so much is known about bullshit, a framework should have been made for comparing bullshitters with liars. That framework can have many features such as different category and scenario of bullshit. The article also makes some statements which are in conflict with the very basic etiquettes of human civilization. If lack of knowledge and features such as repetition make ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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