Thursday, October 25, 2012

Stepping in it

Talking with Rolling Stone, Barack Obama used a bad word with reference to “the other guy,” one Mitt Romney:

“You know, kids have good instincts,” Obama offered. “They look at the other guy and say, ‘Well, that’s a bullshitter, I can tell.’”
Here’s a passage that I posted without comment in August, from a philosopher’s consideration of bullshit:
When an honest man speaks, he says only what he believes to be true; and for the liar, it is correspondingly indispensable that he considers his statements to be false. For the bullshitter, however, all these bets are off: he is neither on the side of the true nor on the side of the false. His eye is not on the facts at all, as the eyes of the honest man and of the liar are, except insofar as they may be pertinent to his interest in getting away with what he says. He does not care whether the things he says describe reality correctly. He just picks them out, or makes them up, to suit his purpose.

Harry G. Frankfurt, On Bullshit (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005).
Romney’s willingness to say anything, take any position, to suit his purpose makes him, in my eyes, a bullshitter. I can tell. Score a hit for Obama.

A related post
Mitt Incandenza

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