If you simplify your English, you are freed from the worst follies of orthodoxy. You cannot speak any of the necessary dialects, and when you make a stupid remark its stupidity will be obvious, even to yourself.With Anscombe (1958):
It would be a great improvement if, instead of "morally wrong," one always named a genus such as "untruthful," "unchaste," "unjust." We should no longer ask whether doing something was "wrong," passing directly from some description of an action to this notion; we should ask whether, e.g., it was unjust; and the answer would sometimes be clear at once.The points may not be the same but they are surely similar. And Wittgenstein makes neither of them, but I believe he would have been sympathetic to Anscombe's point (and Orwell's, for that matter). If you want evidence, try this from Frankfurt's essay:
Wittgenstein once said that the following bit of verse by Longfellow could serve him as a motto:
In the elder days of art/ Builders wrought with greatest care/ Each minute and unseen part,/ For the Gods are everywhere.
The point of these lines is clear. In the old days, craftsmen did not cut corners. They worked carefully, and they took care with every aspect of their work. Every part of the product was considered, and each was designed and made to be exactly as it should be. These craftsmen did not relax their thoughtful self-discipline even with respect to features of their work which would ordinarily not be visible. Although no one would notice if those features were not quite right, the craftsmen would be bothered by their consciences. So nothing was swept under the rug. Or, one might perhaps also say, there was no bullshit.As for bullshit's being something one does, this is something Frankfurt suggests. He quotes Max Black on humbug (a notion he takes to be very similar to that of bullshit) and points out that Black identifies humbug as a category of action as well as of speech (this is on p. 3 of the pdf). Frankfurt doesn't then do much with this, except to say that bullshit is to be defined not by the content of what is said but by the program or intent of the speaker, by his engaging in speech without regard for the truth or falsity of what he says.
Bullshit is concern with appearance over substance, and this can take various forms. More on this soon, I hope.