Ironism

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Ironist (n. Ironism) (from Greek: eiron, eironeia), a term coined by Richard Rorty, describes someone who fulfills three conditions:

  1. She has radical and continuing doubts about the final vocabulary she currently uses, because she has been impressed by other vocabularies, vocabularies taken as final by people or books she has encountered;
  2. She realizes that argument phrased in her present vocabulary can neither underwrite nor dissolve these doubts;
  3. Insofar as she philosophizes about her situation, she does not think that her vocabulary is closer to reality than others, that it is in touch with a power not herself.

— Richard Rorty, Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989, p.73

In Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity, Rorty argues that Proust, Nietzsche, Foucault, Heidegger, Derrida, and Nabokov, among others, all exemplify Ironism to different extents.

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