Ironic Life

2017.02.09 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Richard J. Bernstein, Ironic Life, Polity, 2016, 167pp., $22.95 (pbk), ISBN 9781509505739. Reviewed by Barry Allen, McMaster
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2017.02.09 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Richard J. Bernstein, Ironic Life, Polity, 2016, 167pp., $22.95 (pbk), ISBN 9781509505739. Reviewed by Barry Allen, McMaster University The word "irony" has a standard use, explained in the typical dictionary entry, modeled after Quintilian, of speech whose meaning is contrary to its words. The speaker's words mean one thing, but the speaker means something else, usually the opposite. So it is not challenging to define irony abstractly. A more challenging problem is to describe how it is used. For that we can consult studies of irony in works of literature (Northrop Frye and Wayne C. Booth, for instance). For the use of irony in philosophical writing, we can read work in Continental philosophy on Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Schlegel, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Walter Benjamin. A third problem concerns the value of irony. Irony can be more than a figure of speech, and its... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

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