On Bullshit

Harry Frankfurt
Princeton University

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, or 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. ... [continued]

Princeton University Press has now published this magnificent classic in book form (and additionally has a fascinating video interview with Mr. Frankfurt on its web site).

We have thus removed the full text formerly available here.

We highly recommend this poignant piece to those intelligent enough to understand its import to the current time — and no doubt for centuries to come. Especially if one reads newspapers (or newsgroups), watches television "news" (or talk-shows), or listens to "experts" (or politicians) with that pernicious tendency to press the "Mute" button on the Critical Faculty ...