Unit 2 Post 3 – Leen Khasawneh

Appiah argues that the distinctive features of formal philosophy are not possible without written language. What are these features? How convincing is Appiah’s argument? Is he being unfair to nonliterate cultures?

According to Appiah, the development of formal philosophy requires the ability to re-read and “thus re-think” traditional ideology over the course of time. Therefore, Appiah argues that writing is the reason why formal philosophy has come so far; stating that it all began with Plato. Another element of writing that Appiah views as essential would be the specific nature of writing; whereby writers avoid generality and indexicals in order “to cater to” a reader who may not know as much about context. To this point, I disagree because some texts, such as works of protest catered to locals, or books created for people advanced in a particular field, do not avoid language that may be misleading to readers who do “not share the… assumptions of the writer.” Such texts are not even meant to be “translated” into other contexts.

What’s the most effective way to reduce the amount of bullshit in contemporary discourse? Be sure to use Frankfurt’s specific notion of bullshit—so in that sense, the question is really asking: What’s the best way to get people to care about truth when they speak or write?

I think people are so obsessed with the hyperreal that it becomes almost impossible to even think about getting people to care about reality. Once we consider people’s incentives, it becomes futile it is to expect honesty from people in positions in power – this could be a parent, politician, or really anyone. Yet at the same time, another conflict arises when considering public wellbeing. Yet again, when considering conceptual schemes like utilitarianism, we begin to realize why we can’t even expect honesty from people like flight attendants. Hypothetically speaking, even if it were possible for people to someday reach a point where they seek and appreciate the truth, the challenge then becomes a question of whether or not people are ready for the truth. The global population in Arrival was definitely not prepared for the truth.

A question I have: I am having trouble identifying the line between BS and lying.

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