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date: 18 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of reactions to Harry Frankfurt’s influential theory of bullshitting, addressing the four main features he ascribes to it, and considers some alternatives to Frankfurt’s account. Among others, issues raised by Thomas Carson and G. A. Cohen are examined in the discussion. A proposal to characterize bullshitting in terms of Gricean maxims is discussed, and it is argued that these views fail to capture the full range of cases. Here, works by Stokke and Don Fallis are cited. An alternative view that analyzes bullshitting in terms of the speaker’s attitudes toward the communal project of inquiry is canvassed, and the chapter ends by discussing the relation between bullshitting and lying.

Keywords: bullshitting, nonsense, Gricean maxims, inquiry, lying

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