Ethics and Irony


If we posit ethics as the systematic reflection of the self on its relation to itself, and, in the manner of both Michel Foucault and Jacques Lacan, see the goal of that reflection as the creation of new forms of selfhood, then irony and ironic texts will play a fundamental role in any genuinely ethical work. For irony and the ironist seek the folding back of the fabric of language and thought against itself, enabling the creation of radically new forms of meaning and self-understanding. The ironic text, as such, demands a rethinking of the subject’s relation to power, pleasure, and the institutions that seek to regulate and produce them.

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