Eclectic Curiosity

On Bullshit

Posted on April 13th, 2005, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Uncategorized. No Comments

Is there more bullshit today than, say, 100 years ago, or ever before?

Philosopher and author of On Bullshit Harry G. Frankfurt responds: The increase in the amount of bullshit in contemporary life, as compared to say 100 years ago, is because of the intensity of the marketing motive in contemporary society. We’re constantly marketing things, selling products, selling people, selling candidates, selling programs, selling policies. And once you start out supposing that your object is to sell something then your object is not to tell the truth about it but to get people to believe what you want them to believe about it. This encourages one to resort to bullshit.

I think that the tendency to bullshit is encouraged and promoted by the fact that it’s a widespread view in a democratic society that a responsible citizen ought to have a view about everything. Well, you can’t know very much about everything and so your opinions are likely to be based on bullshit.

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