Where’s the Trust in a Postfactual World?
From the New Books Network's Book of the Day Podcast
The implied answer to the titular question of All Bullshit and Lies? (Oxford University Press, 2020) is no, it’s not. In his book, subtitled Insincerity, Irresponsibility, and the Judgment of Untruthfulness, Chris Heffer argues that to analyze untruthfulness, we need a framework which goes beyond these two kinds of speech acts, bullshitting and lying.
With his TRUST framework (Trust-related Untruthfulness in Situated Text), Heffer analyzes untruthfulness, which includes irresponsible attitudes toward truth, like dogma and distortion, as well as manipulations of the putatively true, like withholding information or misleading. He considers not only epistemic responsibility but moral culpability, taking up real-world cases such as presidential tweets and sloganeering.
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).
Malcolm Keating is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Yale-NUS College. His research focuses on Sanskrit philosophy of language and epistemology. He is the author of Language, Meaning, and Use in Indian Philosophy (Bloomsbury Press, 2019) and host of the podcast Sutras (and stuff).