Om bullshit
Harry G. Frankfurt
Translator: Alexander Leborg
ISBN: 978-82-997381-1-8
Original title: "ONBULLSHIT"
Copyright © 2005 by Princeton University Press, USA Published by arrangement with Loud Literary Agency, Sweden
Year: 208
Number of pages: 96
Binding: Hardcover
Price: 14,50

Om bullshit

Harry G. Frankfurt
The Norwegian translation of ON BULLSHIT

From Princeton University Press:

One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this. Each of us contributes his share. But we tend to take the situation for granted. Most people are rather confident of their ability to recognize bullshit and to avoid being taken in by it. So the phenomenon has not aroused much deliberate concern. We have no clear understanding of what bullshit is, why there is so much of it, or what functions it serves. And we lack a conscientiously developed appreciation of what it means to us. In other words, as Harry Frankfurt writes, "we have no theory."

Frankfurt, one of the world's most influential moral philosophers, attempts to build such a theory here. With his characteristic combination of philosophical acuity, psychological insight, and wry humor, Frankfurt proceeds by exploring how bullshit and the related concept of humbug are distinct from lying. He argues that bullshitters misrepresent themselves to their audience not as liars do, that is, by deliberately making false claims about what is true. In fact, bullshit need not be untrue at all.

Rather, bullshitters seek to convey a certain impression of themselves without being concerned about whether anything at all is true. They quietly change the rules governing their end of the conversation so that claims about truth and falsity are irrelevant. Frankfurt concludes that although bullshit can take many innocent forms, excessive indulgence in it can eventually undermine the practitioner's capacity to tell the truth in a way that lying does not. Liars at least acknowledge that it matters what is true. By virtue of this, Frankfurt writes, bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are.

© Princeton University press

Harry G. Frankfurt

Harry Gordon Frankfurt (f. 29. mai 1929) er professor emeritus i filosofi ved Princeton University. Tidligere underviste han ved Yale University og Rockefeller University. Han mottok sin B.A. i 1949 og sin Ph.D. i 1954 fra Johns Hopkins University. Hans hovedområder har vært moralfilosofi, bevissthets- og handlingsfilosofi og det 17. århundres rasjonalisme.

Hans bokutgivelser omfatter også On Truth (2006), The Reasons of Love (2004), Necessity, Volition, and Love (1999), The Importance of What We Care About: Philosophical Essays (1988) og Demons, Dreamers, and Madmen (The Philosophy of Descartes) (1970). Han bor i Princeton, New Jersey, USA.