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Abstract

The way that Donald Trump uses language is unlike that of traditional politicians. To discover how Trump uses language differently, and what Trump means when he asserts propositions, his assertions are evaluated via Ludwig Wittgenstein’s philosophy of language. Three possible interpretations of how Trump uses language are considered: lying, truth-telling, and, most plausibly, Harry Frankfurt’s conception of bullshitting. The consequences of bullshitting in political discourse are discussed, including its attenuation of truth and democracy.

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