Irony is not a mere play on words, nor a witty way of remaining detached from any commitment. It is, instead, a fundamental capacity of the human soul, a peculiar way of testing our commitments to see if they ring true.
Jonathan Lear, the John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, has explored the concept of irony from the ancient Greeks to the Romantics and Kierkegaard, as well as its uses in modern psychoanalysis. Lear guides us through the murky definitions of irony and their relevance to—and in—contemporary society.
About Jonathan Lear
Jonathan Lear is the John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor at the Committee on Social Thought and in the philosophy department at the University of Chicago, where he works primarily on philosophical conceptions of the human psyche from Socrates to the present. Trained in philosophy at Cambridge University and The Rockefeller University and also as a psychoanalyst at the Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis, he also serves on the faculty of the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis.
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This event is part of the Chicago Humanities Festival’s (CHF) annual fall festival. For more information, please visit the CHF’s website.