Basic Course Information

PHL 310: Truth, Lies and Bullsh*t


Steven W. Patterson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor Philosophy and Religious Studies Dept.,
Marygrove College. Office Phone: 313-927-1539
Departmental Phone: 313-927-1556
e-mail: ude.evorgyram|nosrettaps#ude.evorgyram|nosrettaps
Office: 346 Madame Cadillac Hall
Office Hours: by appointment only

Credit Hours



  • Take ENG-108
  • Take 1 course from PHL-126 PHL-156 PHL-250 PHL-276

General Education Area

Religious and Philosophical Traditions

Catalog Description

In this course we will explore philosophical issues concerning truth-telling, lying, and deceptive or misleading speech acts that fit into neither category (known in the research literature as “bullsh*t”). We will consider different proposed analyses of all three concepts, and consider their effects from vantage points in an ethics, social philosophy, and the philosophy of language.

Required Texts

There are no texts required for purchase in this class. All readings will be made available either online through the course plan or via the library’s resources. Consult the course plan for more information.

Please note: While no books are required for purchase, it is strongly recommended that you obtain or secure access to a collegiate level dictionary and thesaurus (I recommend the handy combination of both in the Oxford Pocket Dictionary and Thesaurus, American Edition, ISBN 0-19-513097-9), and a style manual for written English such as the classic Elements of Style by Strunk and White (Fourth Edition, Allyn & Bacon, ISBN 0-205-30902) Regular access to and use of such references will be assumed.

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