[Homestead] On Bullshit

Gene GeRue genegerue at ruralize.com
Mon Feb 14 10:02:48 EST 2005

These are the final graphs of the review, which I feel are pertinent to our 

  For Mr. Frankfurt, who says it has always been his ambition to move 
philosophy "back to what most people think of as philosophy, which is a 
concern with the problems of life and with understanding the world," the 
book might be considered a successful achievement. But he finds he is still 
trying to get to the bottom of things, and hasn't arrived.

"When I reread it recently," he said at home, "I was sort of disappointed. 
It wasn't as good as I'd thought it was. It was a fairly superficial and 
incomplete treatment of the subject."

"Why," he wondered, "do we respond to [bull] in such a different way than 
we respond to lies? When we find somebody lying, we get angry, we feel 
we've been betrayed or violated or insulted in some way, and the liar is 
regarded as deceptive, deficient, morally at fault."

Why we are more tolerant of [bull] than lying is something Mr. Frankfurt 
believes would be worth considering.

"Why is lying regarded almost as a criminal act?" he asked, while bull "is 
sort of cuddly and warm? It's outside the realm of serious moral criticism. 
Why is that?"

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