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Saturday, April 16, 2005

On B.S.

Princeton Professor Emeritus of Philosophy Harry Frankfurt Speaks Out
"...respect for the truth and concern for the truth, these are among the foundations of civilization."—Harry Frankfurt
I regret that time pressed and I simply downloaded and filed the video interview of Dr. Frankfurt speaking on bullshit and only today actually got around to viewing it. While I might argue that he and I have narrowly different views of bullshit—I see at least one useful variety, whereas he seems not to see any useful bullshit whatever—his argument, as far as I can see from the interview and one online article about his little book, On Bullshit, is a solid one.  I too see the destructive nature of all too much bullshit in the public fora, ranging from the epitome of political bullshit in the daily bloviations of congresscritters (nearly one and all) to the nadir of truly poor bullshitting by Dan Blather in his Rathergate pronouncements.
But, of course, Dr Frankfurt's argument cannot sway those who believe in purely personal "truths"—emotionally-based belief systems where all truth is relative and there is no objective reality.  You know, those such as Jean Fraud sKerry who still apparently believe in a White Christmas in Cambodia...