This one week course ---which is now a regular four month course, since there is a lot of material!---is for all of us, since we all breathe bullshit in every day as part of the atmosphere.
We believe that bullshit is as bad for your mind as breathing dirty air is for your body, so take some time to see if you agree.
NOTE: As we are tweaking our courses for online use, we suggest that this class be completed over Christmas Break, which is two weeks from about Dec 24 to about Jan 6 at Leon's.
Most people get some time off then, people in school and out, so it would be accessible to a great number.
If you want to go deep, this course can easily be turned into a four month course like the other three.
In that case, take two weeks for Black, a month for Wittgenstein, a month for Pound and the novelist, a month for Augustine, and two weeks at the end to sum it up.
DAY ONE: MAX BLACK AND HUMBUG
Read the first part of the essay, through the discussion of Max Black's essay, and read Black's essay too.
How does the Oxford Dictionary define Bullshit? How would you define bullshit? How would you distinguish between humbug and bullshit?
DAY TWO: WITTGENSTEIN AND NONSENSE
Read the second part of the essay, which is about Ludvig Wittgenstein, three of whose brothers committed suicide.
This staggering tragedy of self-annhilation was not without effect--it convinced Wittgenstein that the deadly ideological falsehoods of his era must be stopped.
It might be said of Wittgenstein therefore, that his entire life was a one-man phenomenological war on bullshit.
Is there a difference between nonsense as Wittgenstein defines it and bullshit as Frankfurt defines it?
DAY THREE: EZRA POUND AND THE ART OF BULLSHITTING
Read the third part of Frankfurt's essay, which discusses the Oxford dictionary definition of bullshit, and the use of "to bullshit" in literature as a verb.
What do you think about the concept of "bullshitting your way through life"?
DAY FOUR: AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO AND 12 KINDS OF LIES
Read the fourth part of the essay, which discusses the essay "ON LIES" by Augustine of Hippo.
What do you think about the distinction between lies and bullshit?
DAY FIVE: FRANKFURT'S THEORY OF DIRTY HOT AIR
Read the rest of the essay, in which Frankfurt mentions what he believes are a few causes of bullshit in our times.
Do you agree? Can you come up with others, or variations on his?
DAY SIX: CONCLUSION. As we conclude Bullshit Bootcamp, please know this has been only the briefest of introductions.
We hope that you continue to develop the theory of bullshit, as we believe bullshit is an underlying cause of unhappiness.
We will be studying this idea in more depth in the Happiness Course.
This course can be completed at any time, and take as long as anyone pleases.
For now,you have one final task.
Reflect on and discuss with someone the level and context of bullshit in one of the following famous trials from our times:
ONE: I AM NOT A CROOK, trial of Richard Nixon
TWO: IT DEPENDS ON WHAT IS IS, trial of Bill Clinton.
THREE: I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT A URL IS, said by Bill Gates at the Microsoft Anti trust trial.READ ABOUT THE JUDGE LAUGHING AT BILL GATES HERE
(this one requires that you do research on a topic few people are aware of,
the Microsoft Anti Trust trial which was the first of many trials surrounding bullshit about the internet.
AS FOR PHILOSOPHERS, MR. WITTGENSTEIN WAS ONE OF THE MOST RELENTLESS PURSUERS OF TRUTH IN THE 20th CENTURY.
If you are a glutton for philosophy, check him out in greater depth. You might start here: A FUNNY LECTURE ON WITTGENSTEIN
NOW STEP LIGHTLY! KEEP YER BOOTS ON, AND STAY OUT THE BULLSHEEAT! YEE HAW!!!