All Bullshit and Lies?: Insincerity, Irresponsibility, and the Judgment of Untruthfulness

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en Limba Engleză Paperback – 08 Sep 2020
In a postfactual world in which claims are often held to be true only to the extent that they confirm pre-existing or partisan beliefs, this book asks crucial questions: how can we identify the many forms of untruthfulness in discourse? How can we know when their use is ethically wrong? How can we judge untruthfulness in the messiness of situated discourse? Drawing on pragmatics, philosophy, psychology, and law, All Bullshit and Lies? develops a comprehensive framework for analyzing untruthful discourse in situated context. TRUST, or Trust-related Untruthfulness in Situated Text, sees untruthfulness as encompassing not only deliberate manipulations of what is believed to be true (the insincerity of withholding, misleading, and lying) but also the distortions that arise from an irresponsible attitude towards the truth (dogma, distortion,and bullshit). Chris Heffer discusses times when truth is not “in play,” as in jokes or fiction, as well as instances when concealing the truth can achieve a greater good. The TRUST framework demonstrates that untruthfulness becomes unethical in discourse, though, when it unjustifiably breaches the trust aninterlocutor invests in the speaker. In addition to the theoretical framework, this book provides a clear, practical heuristic for analyzing discursive untruthfulness and applies it to such cases of public discourse as the Brexit “battle bus,” Trump's tweet about voter fraud, Blair and Bush's claims about weapons of mass destruction, and the multiple forms of untruthfulness associated with the Skripal poisoning case. In All Bullshit and Lies? Chris Heffer turns a critical eye to fundamental questions of truthfulness and trust in our society. This timely and interdisciplinary investigation of discourse provides readers a deeper theoretical understanding of untruthfulness in a postfactual world.
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ISBN-13: 9780190923297
ISBN-10: 0190923296
Pagini: 352
Dimensiuni: 151 x 236 x 22 mm
Greutate: 0.54 kg
Editura: Oxford University Press
Colecția OUP USA
Locul publicării: New York, United States


Heffer's work is thought provoking, important, and timely, and a must for linguists, philosophers, and rhetoricians. Essential. All readers.
[Heffer] considers not only epistemic responsibility but moral culpability, taking up real-world cases such as presidential tweets and sloganeering. The book draws on work in philosophy of language, linguistics, and epistemology, along with discourse analysis, psychology, and sociology to provide a flexible framework which can help cut through increasing epistemic partisanship, believing for the sake of affiliation rather than reason.
Going beyond critique, All Bullshit and Lies? develops important, interdisciplinary insights on 'untruthfulness' and 'trust' that also throw light on everyday experiences and contemporary media."-Alan Durant, Professor of Communication, Middlesex University School of Law, London
In this path-breaking volume, combining analyses of discursive strategies and pathologies with philosophical reflections on responsibility, Chris Heffer shines a light onto the heterogeneous nature of untruthfulness. The result is a compelling exploration of the space located between simple lies and unadulterated truths-a space occupied by bullshit, claptrap, and other forms of insincere or irresponsible speech."-Alessandra Tanesini, author of Philosophy ofLanguage A-Z

Notă biografică

Chris Heffer is Reader in Linguistics in the School of English, Communication, and Philosophy at Cardiff University. He is the author of The Language of Jury Trial (2005) and editor of Legal-Lay Communication: Textual Travels in the Law (OUP 2013).