A Baseline Study on Torture in Sri Lanka


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This study is made with the purpose of generating knowledge on all issues relating to the prevention of torture in Sri Lanka.

In such studies on human rights, it is necessary to pay attention to some matters regarding the use of information as pointed out by Harry G. Frankfurt in two small books, ‘On Bullshit’ and ‘On Truth’.

This study purposely avoids what Professor Frankfurt refers to as ‘bullshit’.
This concept is explained by him in the following way:

Not very long ago, I published an essay on bullshit, entitled On Bullshit (Princeton University Press, 2005). In that essay, I offered a provisional analysis of the concept of bullshit: that is, I specified the conditions that I considered to be both necessary and sufficient for applying the concept correctly. My claim was that bullshitters, although they represent themselves as being engaged simply in conveying information, are not engaged in that enterprise at all.

Instead, and most essentially, they are fakers and phonies who are attempting by what they say to manipulate the opinions and the attitudes of those to whom they speak. What they care about primarily, therefore, is whether what they say is effective in accomplishing this manipulation. Correspondingly, they are more or less indifferent to whether what they say is true or whether it is false.

On Truth – Harry G. Frankfurt – published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2006

Published in February 2009 by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), 176 pages, Language: English, ISBN: 978-8314-42-3, PID: AHRC-PUB-004-2009
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