Journal of Social Sciences

Inciting Striving Speech (i.e., BS) and Imperfect Dialogical Exchanges is exactly what is needed in Higher Education Today

James Carifio and Rocco Perla

DOI : 10.3844/jssp.2008.68.74

Journal of Social Sciences

Volume 4, Issue 1

Pages 68-74


Harry Frankfurt, the American moral philosopher, as well as his many advocates, has initiated a growing movement for eliminating BS from our culture and classrooms. BS is defined as people speaking beyond themselves on some topic that exceed their knowledge of the facts that are relevant to that topic. This article argues that BS and BS-ing (i.e., striving speech and imperfect dialogical exchanges) are key and critical components to both social and intellectual development and that both are something that we want to increase in higher education right now as opposed to the current and past misguided efforts to eliminate them. A variety of current empirical studies and current learning and development theories are reviewed to support this view and recommendations are given to help professors facilitate and encourage striving speech and dialogue among students.


© 2008 James Carifio and Rocco Perla. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.