During our afternoon discussion, we tried to define bullshit more accurately by coming up with its antithesis. Since the goal of bullshit is to change a person’s perception of the bullshitter according to Frankfurt, that the opposite is to do or say something without the intent to change someone’s perception. Another important facet of bullshit is that regardless of someone’s perspective not changing, if there was intent to change the perspective, it is classified as bullshit. So, the antithesis of bullshit can help reduce the amount of bullshit because we can shape our discourse around the antithesis. If we change our discourse by speaking without the intent to shape other people’s opinions of ourselves, that will reduce bullshit. The problem is that everything we say has an intent behind it to change someone’s opinion about us. We discussed that everything we say or do has a selfish motive behind it because everything we do is for personal gain. For example, we make friends because they give us a sense of belonging, we are nice to people so they do nice things for us in return, etc. So, I think under Frankfurt’s definition, it is impossible to reduce bullshit because everything we say is to put ourselves in a better position.
The question that confuses me the most, especially after listening to the translation panel, is what makes a good translation? There seems to be people on the side that an exact, word for word translation is the only correct method of translation, and there are others that think that translating the essence of the work is what is most important. The problem is that both the meanings of the words and the feelings they invoke are equally as important to the original text, and since each language has a completely different conceptual scheme, there will always be pieces of each that are lost in translation. So, is it even possible to find a middle ground in which there is a bit of both? It seems to me that so many people think they know what a good translation looks like, yet there are critics of both sides.