Irony, Dissociation and the Self

David Simpson

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Within the philosophy of language, irony is not a terribly popular topic. For the most part its status is that of a peripheral and derivative oddity, and when it has been discussed, it has tended to be as an aside to a discussion of its more popular purported cousin, metaphor. My major goal here is to help drag irony towards the centre of attention, in two ways. First, in the course of sorting through the account of verbal irony I want to show how this phenomenon, to the extent that it is a communicative-interactive phenomenon, challenges a supposed centrality for literal assertion in our accounts of meaning, communication and interaction. Second, I want to show how the ironic process, as a psychological process and as an interactive process, ought to sit at the forefront of attempts to give an account of the self.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-135
JournalJournal of Consciousness Studies
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Irony
  • Interaction
  • Pragmatics

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