Harry G. Frankfurt: Textual Analysis

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Harry G. Frankfurt introduces the related concept of Humbug. Humbug and Bullshit are not exactly interchangeable, but more often than not, what we hear from Politicians is considered to be more-so Humbug than truly lies. Humbug, by definition, is deceptive misrepresentation of oneself, especially by pretentious word or deed. Politicians often try to portray a certain image of themselves, and they do that through misrepresentation of the words they’re using and the pretentiousness attitudes they give off to try to change the American mind about who they are. In the book, Frankfurt uses the example of a Fourth of July oration speech. The speech goes, “our great and blessed country, who’s Founding Fathers under divine guidance created a new beginning for mankind” (16). There are no explicit lies in this speech, nothing that makes it…show more content…
Bluffing and lying are both forms of misrepresentation and deception. The difference between lying and bluffing is that bluffing is not falsity, but actually fakery, which makes bluffing close to bullshitting. Frankfurt takes a quote from Eric Ambler’s novel Dirty Story, which reads: “Although I was only seven when my father was killed, I still remember him very well and some of the things he used to say… One of the first things he taught me was ‘Never tell a lie when you can bullshit your way through’” (48). This presumes that bullshitting is morally superior to lying, and maybe the elder Simpson thought it was easier to get away with bullshitting than lying. Or, maybe he thought that the consequences of bullshitting weren’t as severe as getting caught in a lie. Frankfurt agrees with this statement, and he believes that people are more likely to shrug off bullshitting and turn away from it than they are to a blatant lie. I also agree with this concept, because this is another concept that can be tied back to the 2016 Presidential
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