Thursday, May 12, 2005

on bullshit....

the contemporary proliferation of bullshit has deeper sources, in various forms of skepticism which deny that we can have any reliable access to an objective reality, and which therefore reject the possibility of knowing how things truly are. these "antirealist" doctrines undermine confidence in the value of disinterested efforts to determine what is true and what is false, and even in the intelligibility of the notion of objective inquiry. one response to this loss of confidence has been a retreat from the discipline required to dedication to the ideal of correctness to a quite different sort of discipline, which is imposed by pursuit of an alternative ideal of sincerity. rather than seeking primarily to arrive at accurate representations of a common world, the individual turns toward trying to provide honest representations of himself. convinced that reality has no inherent nature, which he might hope to identify as the truth about things, he devotes himself to being true to his own nature. it is as though he decides that it makes no sense to try to be true to the facts, he must therefore try instead to be true to himself.

took about an hour to read this pocketsized book, but made my year thus far.

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