The Difference Between a Liar and a Bullshit Artist

So many paragraphs of Harry Frankfurt’s essay On Bullshit seem written for our time. Here is one of my favorites:

“The liar is inescapably concerned with truth-values. In
order to invent a lie at all, he must think he knows what is true.
And in order to invent an effective lie, he must design his
falsehood under the guidance of that truth. On the other hand, a
person who undertakes to bullshit his way through has much
more freedom. His focus is panoramic rather than particular. He
does not limit himself to inserting a certain falsehood at a specific
point, and thus he is not constrained by the truths surrounding
that point or intersecting it. He is prepared to fake the context as
well, so far as need requires. This freedom from the constraints to
which the liar must submit does not necessarily mean, of course,
that his task is easier than the task of the liar. But the mode of
creativity upon which it relies is less analytical and less
deliberative than that which is mobilized in lying. It is more
expansive and independent, with mare spacious opportunities for
improvisation, color, and imaginative play. This is less a matter of
craft than of art. Hence the familiar notion of the “bullshit artist.” “

–Harry Frankfurt, On Bullshit