Irony and Shame in Socratic Ethics

Abstract
Socrates is both the first thoroughgoing moral philosopher and the first to employ irony as a philosophical tool. These innovative and foundational aspects of Socratic philosophy, however, lead to apparent inconsistencies and worrisome interactions. Socrates is charged with making his interlocutors look foolish, arrogant, self-serving, or ignorant. Worse still, he seems aware of these reactions. If Socrates knows his methods stir resentment, why does he continue with them? Furthermore, how should we view irony in light of Socratic ethics? I argue that Socrates uses irony and shame to bring about the desire for moral improvement. Socratic irony is of the riddling variety and the shame that it produces is not intended to belittle the interlocutor’s sense of self. Instead, shame is an appropriate response to the realization that one’s life is unexamined and possibly vicious. Therefore, the real problem with Socratic irony lies not with its use, but its failure rate
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,793
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Paul Muench (2009). Socratic Irony, Plato's Apology, and Kierkegaard's On the Concept of Irony. In Niels Jørgen Cappelørn, Hermann Deuser & K. Brian Söderquist (eds.), Kierkegaard Studies Yearbook. de Gruyter. 71-125.
Brad Frazier (2004). Kierkegaard on Mastered Irony. International Philosophical Quarterly 44 (4):465-479.
Paul Muench (2006). Kierkegaard's Socratic Task. Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
Brad Frazier (2004). Kierkegaard on the Problems of Pure Irony. Journal of Religious Ethics 32 (3):417 - 447.
Ruth L. Smith (1998). Morals and Their Ironies. Journal of Religious Ethics 26 (2):367 - 388.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-01-09

Total downloads

22 ( #81,337 of 1,099,719 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

9 ( #27,014 of 1,099,719 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.