Marketing from the Academy


The pretensions of the intellectual elite. More authenticity from Princeton University Press, as advertised in The Chronicle of Higher Education:


Marketing. A catchy title would ordinarily sell books. Like half nekked women can sell calendars.

Your Business Blogger recently came across “Professor” Frankfurt’s book in the remainder bin at a book chain store. It’s a wee little volumn. Very thin. The cites for St. Augustine were thinner. I didn’t buy it. And nobody else did either.

I’ve read better blogs.

Here’s a sample from the first chapter of what “one of the world’s most influential moral philosophers” has to say about…cow manure:

. . .we have no clear understanding of what bullsh*t is, why there is so much of it, or what functions it serves. And we lack a conscientiously developed appreciation of what it means to us. In other words, we have no theory. I propose to begin the development of a theoretical understanding of bullsh*t, mainly by providing some tentative and exploratory philosophical analysis.

I shall not consider the rhetorical uses and misuses of bullsh*t. My aim is simply to give a rough account of what bullsh*t is and how it differs from what it is not–or (putting it somewhat differently) to articulate, more or less sketchily, the structure of its concept.

The “structure of its concept?”

Well. Wasn’t there someone, anyone, at Princeton University Press with enough class to tell this, this academic writer that the book is merely juvenile?

Slate loved it. Of course. (“The Bush administration is clearly more bullsh*t-heavy than its predecessors.”)

Who would want tuition dollars to go to these… educators? Now that’s bullsh*t.


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Thank you (foot)notes:

Be sure to see more advanced learning, more higher education at Pin-Up Grrrls at The Chronicle of Higher Education

Yvonne has book cover wisdom.


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