Argumentation 36 (1):101-121 (2022)

Reasonable reconstruction of public statements is an essential component of civil discourse especially in contentious political contexts. This essay addresses the problems posed by irony through the perspective of the speaker and the audience. I argue that existing attempts to systematize the identification and reconstruction of irony focus unduly on forms of contrary irony, thereby neglecting the more complex figure of Socratic Irony. Socratic Irony, which can be characterized by the invocation of the voice of the other, is distinguished from other important meanings of the word “irony” and illustrated by one ancient and three contemporary examples. When encountering this stylistic device, reasonable audiences must choose their principle of reconstruction. Of the five options for this choice, the final one reconstructing Socratic Irony using recurring markers is ultimately championed and its functionality demonstrated on the four earlier examples.
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DOI 10.1007/s10503-021-09557-z
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Studies in the Way of Words.Paul Grice - 1989 - Philosophy 65 (251):111-113.
Problems in Argument Analysis and Evaluation.Trudy Gover - 2018 - Windsor: University of Windsor.
Relevance.D. Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 1995 - Communication and Cognition: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly Journal 2.

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