BACKGROUND: Definition of the term 'bullshit' whenever used online by John Cadogan
People erroneously often conflate the term 'bullshit' with 'lies'. They are not the same thing.
In using the term 'bullshit' in this website, I am certainly not accusing the alleged purveyors thereof, of lying.
The only academic treatise on bullshit of which I am aware is that of Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Princeton University, Harry G Frankfurt: On Bullshit. It's a 67-page dissertation on one of the most salient features of modern life, and well worth the read.
In a nutshell, Professor Frankfurt concludes that bullshit is independent of truth or falsehood. Rather, he says, bullshit is a representation of facts, issues or things that could be entirely true, or entirely false, or any intermediate proportion of truth or falsehood. The salient feature of bullshit is that it serves only to promote the underlying agenda of the bullshitter.
Professor Frankfurt says:
"What bullshit essentially misrepresents is neither the state of affairs to which it refers, nor the beliefs of the speaker concerning that state of affairs. Those are what lies misrepresent, by virtue of being false. Since bullshit need not be false, it differs from lies in its misrepresentational intent. The bullshitter may not deceive us, or even pretend to do so, either about the facts, or what he takes the facts to be. What he does necessarily attempt to do is deceive us about his enterprise. His only indispensably distinctive characteristic is that in a certain way he misrepresents what he is up to."
Whenever used online by me, the core definition proposed by Professor Frankfurt is what the term bullshit and its derivatives relate to.
Yes, people really are this stupid. It's quite confronting, when you think about it, but also relaxing on an otherwise stressful Friday at work...
Don't get scammed by carmaker low-interest 'deals'. Unrealistic interest rates are a con. Here's how it works, and how to avoid it
Do you know what power and torque really is? If you can't pass the test with a gun at your head, right now, here's the solution
There are 12.5 million cars on Australian roads. That’s 50 million tyres. They’re wearing out every four years - let’s say - and most tyre retailers are keen to get you to spend $10 per corner to pump up with a miraculous gas: pure nitrogen. It’s potentially a $100 million consumer scam.
This happy customer saved thousands on a new Sportage Platinum - without once setting foot in a dealership. You can save too.
The NP300 Nissan Navara. It’s just been updated for 2017. Find out why it's the ultimate vehicle for any aspiring 'suit-in-a-ute'
The facelifted Outlander is the best 7-seater SUV if you're on a budget, ushering in the company's (ahem) distinctive new 'dynamic shield' styling
Some SUVs are made for the bush, or heavy towing, and some are little more than de-facto family transport. What's best?
Volvo: the anti-kudos Euro car. The safe option. But is there a dark side to Volvo ownership that few will acknowledge? Let's find out.
People buy SUVs to move people. It's a popular thing to do. But perversely there is an altogether better class of vehicle for moving people. Click here for more.
There are - literally - dozens of SUVs available today. How do you narrow down to a reasonable short list comprising the elite options?
Does Holden's Active Fuel Management System really work, and if so, can you please explain exactly how it saves fuel?