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Art of Living

Irony and Redemption from Egotism
  • Tracy LlaneraEmail author
Living reference work entry

Abstract

In relation to the question of the art of living, this chapter articulates the opposite of Richard Rorty’s liberal ironist: the egotist. In the first section, I articulate what egotism is and who egotists are. My aim is to nominate the egotist as a useful counter-figure to the liberal ironist. In the second section, I talk about irony. I emphasize the radicalism and relevance of Rorty’s conception of irony with the help of recent literature. In the third section, I argue that the power of irony is crucial to fight egotism. I show how Rorty mobilizes irony by way of self-creation and solidarity to combat the problem of egotism. In the fourth section, I summarize my argument and suggest how an ironic life prevents nihilism.

Keywords

Irony Redemption Egotism Solidarity Liberal Ironist 

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Recommended Literature for Further Reading

  1. Bacon, Michael. 2017. Rorty, irony, and the consequences of contingency for liberal society. Philosophy and Social Criticism. Online first.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0191453716688365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. The article re-examines Rorty’s ironist and his conception of irony. It argues that irony can serve a positive social role in a liberal society.Google Scholar
  3. Llanera, Tracy. 2016. Redeeming Rorty’s private-public distinction. Contemporary Pragmatism 13(3): 319–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. The article reconstructs Rorty’s private-public distinction in light of both the problem of egotism and the tensions between Rorty’s romantic and enlightenment tendencies. It argues that Rorty’s notions of irony (as self-creation) and solidarity share the quality of self-enlargement, which is designed to combat egotism.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of ConnecticutStorrs, ConnecticutVereinigte Staaten

Section editors and affiliations

  • Martin Müller
    • 1
  1. 1.MünchenDeutschland

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