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On Truthby Harry Frankfurt
"[On Bullshit] worked so well because it maintained a tone of clinical academic gravity in dealing with an essentially ludicrous topic....Has the trick been repeated with the current essay? Truth is bigger game than bullshit....Frankfurt explains that his book arose because he had failed to explain in the previous book why truth is so important to us, or why we should especially care about it, and hence had failed to explain why indifference to truth is such a bad thing. This is the task he now undertakes." Simon Blackburn, The New Republic (read the entire New Republic review)
Synopses & Reviews
Having outlined a theory of bullshit and falsehood, Harry G. Frankfurt turns to what lies beyond them: the truth, a concept not as obvious as some might expect.
Our culture's devotion to bullshit may seem much stronger than our apparently halfhearted attachment to truth. Some people (professional thinkers) won't even acknowledge "true" and "false" as meaningful categories, and even those who claim to love truth cause the rest of us to wonder whether they, too, aren't simply full of it. Practically speaking, many of us deploy the truth only when absolutely necessary, often finding alternatives to be more saleable, and yet somehow civilization seems to be muddling along. But where are we headed? Is our fast and easy way with the facts actually crippling us? Or is it "all good"? Really, what's the use of truth, anyway?
With the same leavening wit and commonsense wisdom that animates his pathbreaking work On Bullshit, Frankfurt encourages us to take another look at the truth: there may be something there that is perhaps too plain to notice but for which we have a mostly unacknowledged yet deep-seated passion. His book will have sentient beings across America asking, "The truth — why didn't I think of that?"
"[T]he author addresses throughout the average educated reader who perhaps needs some pages to turn on the New York-Boston shuttle....Readers expecting a meal will find only a snack, but a tasty one." Kirkus Reviews
Having outlined a theory of bullshit and falsehood, Frankfurt turns to what lies beyond them: the truth, a concept not as obvious as some might expect. (Philosophy)
About the Author
Harry G. Frankfurt is a professor of philosophy emeritus at Princeton University. His books include On Bullshit; The Reasons of Love; Necessity, Volition, and Love; and The Importance of What We Care About. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
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