Not everything in academia has to be
recursive boring… take Harry Frankfurt for example: He is my current American Professor Idol as he has the balls to write where no man has written before, On Bullshit.
I don’t know H.G. Frankfurt well, but I do know he’s a philosopher who has a flair for writing the interesting; just read his earlier award winning parchment entitled “The Reasons of Love“, in which he beautifully reveals that love is the most authoritative form of caring, and that the purest form of love is, in a complicated way, self-love.
In the true essence of a learned man, Frankfurt simply tries to make better sense on what he observes in our world today. Yes, that’s what we are trained to do as graduate students! Watch his well produced video interview (quicktime/realmedia) at Princeton University and have a taste of bullshit so fine, it’s better than a glass of good wine!
For starters, here’s a sample from Chapter 1:
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, nor attracted much sustained inquiry.
In consequence, 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, we have no theory. I propose to begin the development of a theoretical understanding of bullshit, mainly by providing some tentative and exploratory philosophical analysis. I shall not consider the rhetorical uses and misuses of bullshit. My aim is simply to give a rough account of what bullshit is and how it differs from what it is not–or (putting it somewhat differently) to articulate, more or less sketchily, the structure of its concept.
What are you waiting for? Get “On Bullshit” today!