The importance of speaking one’s perceived truth lies in the fact that the thoughts we share shape others’ experiences. When Frankfurt defines bullshit, he describes the act of talking without regard for the truth, speaking solely to shape others’ perception. In doing so, the speaker then puts into existence their own version of the truth, one that may conflict with reality. On the opposite end of the bullshitter, lies the listener who has been fed deception under the guise of truth. The listener’s reality has been unwittingly impaired. We must accept that we play a role in shaping others’ reality, after all what is reality if not the cumulation of human existence and the surrounding natural world. Just as translators have a responsibility to portray the intended message of the author, we too have a responsibility to portray our raw experiences without care for how we may be percieved. The source of bullshit is the desire to appear in such a way that will yield respect or attention from others. We must collectively stop allowing the perceptions of others to guide our lives. Live for yourself, embrace the authenticity of your human experience, and subsequently we may begin a revolution.
In James’ Pragmatism lecture he claims that a reality is something that we can only “glimpse at, but we never grasp it.” He seems to believe that, in line with pragmatism, there are no universal truths that we may claim with certainty. Originally, I agreed with this idea because our unique human experiences alter the reality we see. But, are we not all living in the same physical world? How much do our unique perceptions and experiences alter our view of reality? What can we consider universal, and are there some truths that we all share? Even though our perceptions vary and our communities produce different cultures, it seems that there must be some uniting truth.