Read e-book online A Case for Irony (Tanner Lectures on Human Values) PDF

By Jonathan Lear

ISBN-10: 0674061454

ISBN-13: 9780674061453

In 2001, Vanity Fair declared that the Age of Irony was once over. Joan Didion has lamented that the USA within the period of Barack Obama has develop into an "irony-free zone." Jonathan Lear in his 2006 e-book Radical Hope appeared into America’s middle to invite how may possibly we dispose ourselves if we got here to believe our lifestyle was once coming to an finish. the following, he mobilizes a squad of philosophers and a psychoanalyst to once more forge an intensive approach ahead, via arguing that no really human lifestyles is feasible with out irony.

Becoming human shouldn't be taken without any consideration, Lear writes. it really is anything we accomplish, whatever we get the hold of, and prefer Kierkegaard and Plato, Lear claims that irony is likely one of the crucial instruments we use to do that. For Lear and the individuals in his Socratic discussion, irony isn't really approximately being cool and indifferent like a participant in a Woody Allen movie. That, as Johannes Climacus, one in all Kierkegaard’s pseudonymous authors, places it, “is anything purely assistant professors assume.” as a substitute, it's a renewed dedication to dwelling heavily, to experiencing each disruption that shakes us out of our ordinary methods of tuning out of existence, with all its vicissitudes. whereas many over the centuries have argued in a different way, Lear claims that our emotions and wishes have a tendency towards order, a constitution that irony shakes us into seeing. Lear’s exchanges along with his interlocutors enhance his claims, whereas his stories as a training psychoanalyst convey an emotionally gripping size to what's at stake—the psychic expenditures and merits of dwelling with irony.

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Extra resources for A Case for Irony (Tanner Lectures on Human Values)

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34 Ironically, if Luther had been an ironist, the only Lutheran in all of Christendom would have been Kierkegaard, who devoted his life to imploding the pretense of Lutheran Christendom. ╇ Ironic Existence I have thus far been trying to capture the experience of irony. I would like to conclude with a preliminary account of ironic exisÂ�tence. Ironic exisÂ�tence is a form of life in which one develops a capacity for irony—that is, a capacity for occasioning an experience of irony (in oneself or another)—into a human excellence.

599b–c) Plato’s answer: There is Socrates, for he is the one genuinely concerned with promoting health. Those who put themselves forward as doctors are in effect gratifiers and drug-dealers: helping those who are addicted to an unhealthy life extend their sick lives. (7) Among all shepherds, is there a shepherd? 26 (8) Among all the wise, is there a wise person? There is Socrates, for he alone knows that he does not know (Apology 23a–b). And so on. These questions all have the same form—and in each case the possibility for irony arises by showing that the pretense falls short of its own aspiraÂ� tion.

So, irony interrogates a totality not for its alleged inclusiveness, but for whether it has anything at all to do with the totality it purports to be. It is a movement that exposes a pretense in the nonpejorative sense to be pretense in the pejorative sense. But we misunderstand the ironic movement if we think of Socrates as Â�simply providing a revised set of criteria—for Â�example, as arguing that a true [â•… 23â•… ] t h e l e c t u r e s doctor doesn’t prescribe diet pills, but rather puts his patients on an exercise regimen.

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A Case for Irony (Tanner Lectures on Human Values) by Jonathan Lear

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