The Concept of Irony

The Concept of Irony is Kierkegaard’s master’s thesis.  It is an examination of the socratic method as irony.  Kierkegaard’s articulation and clarification of Socrates based on Plato and not Xenophon is already fruitful for a person like myself with little classical background in philosophy.

Kierkegaard describes irony as follows,

One may ask a question for the purpose of obtaining an answer containing the desired content, so that the more on questions, the deeper and more meaningful becomes the answer; or one may ask a question, not in the interest of obtaining an answer, but to suck out the apparent content with a question and leave only an emptiness remaining.  The first method naturally presupposes a content, the second emptiness; the first is speculative, the second ironic.

Socrates took aim at the knowing subject considering it a god-given task to dismantle what others may have called wisdom to show it to be, in fact, ignorance.

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