Everyone has been there before, standing around with a group of friends just talking about whatever comes up. No one really directs the conversation, but rather it flows freely. Of course there are always a couple people in that group of friends that have lavish stories, but you somehow seem to doubt pieces of it. Those people are the professional bullshitters. They however aren’t the only ones who do it. You yourself do it, just probably not on the scale of the professional. This paper is about the topic of bullshit or malarkey and what it means to conversation. Bullshit is a form of communicating and it seems preferable over being direct. This essay seeks to explore the purposes of bullshitting as an accepted form of communication through breakdown of the word “bullshit,” and it’s social uses.
Beginning with what is bullshit is imperative to the rest of the paper. Frankfurt begins with the Oxford English Dictionary for his analysis of the first word “bull.” Frankfurt states the OED’s definition as “an informal conversation or discussion, esp. of a group of males” (Frankfurt 2005:34). Bull sessions are often also used to express feelings about sensitive subjects such as, “ religion, politics, or sex” (Frankfurt 2005:36). They do so with the mindset that in these conversation the general rule is to take nothing seriously, and it is to my belief that they are used for pleasure or to blow off steam. Frankfurt (2005) stated:
Each of the contributors to a bull session relies, in other words, upon a general recognition that what he expresses or says is not to be understood as being what he means wholeheartedly or believes unequivocally to be true. The purpose of the conversation is not to communicate beliefs. Accordi...
... middle of paper ...
...arate things, but closely related: bull is a session of conversation that has no meaning and that whatever is said shall not be taken seriously and shit is essentially nothing but un-crafted non-enriched words that have no importance to the conversation. Combining the two creates a concept of conversation that has no allegiance to the sides of fact or fiction, but instead creates a mode of self promotion. Social competition is fierce and using bullshit to get ahead is common on the playground, because the children use it as socials coins of script. Old men use BS for killing time, companionship and enjoyment. Politicians are the focused on attracting votes from the masses on not select groups. BS is a strategy for social gain, and can be used for multiple purposes.
Frankfurt, H.G. (2005). On bullshit. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
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