On Bullshit

#1 New York Times bestseller
Featured on The Daily Show and 60 Minutes
The acclaimed book that illuminates our world and its politics by revealing why bullshit is more dangerous than lying


Jan 30, 2005
4 x 6 in.
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One of the most prominent features of our world is that there is so much bullshit. Yet we have no clear understanding of what bullshit is, how it’s distinct from lying, what functions it serves, and what it means. In his acclaimed bestseller On Bullshit, Harry Frankfurt, who was one of the world’s most influential moral philosophers, explores this important subject, which has become a central problem of politics and our world.

With his characteristic combination of philosophical acuity, psychological insight, and wry humor, Frankfurt argues that bullshitters misrepresent themselves to their audience not as liars do, that is, by deliberately making false claims about what is true. Rather, bullshitters seek to convey a certain impression of themselves without being concerned about whether anything at all is true. They quietly change the rules governing their end of the conversation so that claims about truth and falsity are irrelevant. Although bullshit can take many innocent forms, excessive indulgence in it can eventually undermine the bullshitter’s capacity to tell the truth in a way that lying does not. Liars at least acknowledge that the truth matters. Because of this, bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are.

Remarkably prescient and insightful, On Bullshit is a small book that explains a great deal about our time.

Awards and Recognition

  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • Harry G. Frankfurt, Charles Homer Haskins Prize Lecturer, American Council of Learned Societies
  • Winner of the Bestseller Award in Philosophy, The Book Standard