Propaganda, Lies, and Bullshit in BioShock's Rapture

In Luke Cuddy (ed.), BioShock and Philosophy. Wiley. pp. 107–113 (2015-05-26)
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Abstract

From nearly the author's first experience entering the underwater city of Rapture in BioShock, she is treated to a taste of Andrew Ryan's propaganda. Andrew Ryan regularly says that citizens of Rapture need to avoid all contact with the surface world because it's filled with parasites who seek to destroy Rapture. Even though what Ryan says about the outside world is true, he's lying because he believes it to be false. According to Harry Frankfurt, bullshit is when the speaker doesn't particularly care whether what she says is true or false. The analysis in this chapter suggests that propaganda is more closely connected to bullshitting than lying. The author says that if propaganda is more closely associated with bullshit than lies, then this also means that one should be particularly worried by governments (or individuals with power, such as Andrew Ryan) that engage in lots of propaganda.

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Rachel McKinnon
College of Charleston

Citations of this work

The Epistemology of Propaganda.Rachel McKinnon - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 96 (2):483-489.

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