A Rhetoric of Irony, Wayne Booth, 1974, University of Chicago Press.
Waded into an ocean abyss' deep trench. Oh my! Is there no end to the dialectic of irony. No, or as Kierhegaard puts it, irony is an infinity of negativities. Booth, however, asserts that irony is part and parcel of successful communication from how irony is a rhetorical meeting; that is, a mutual conversation between an audience and creator. The mutual quality is shared understanding of stable ironic intent.
Along with irony and part of the instances and wholes are values and morals; as in successful expression and reception of shared values and morals -- in part of how successful an ironic intent is, and in part how the shared moral human condition victimizes suitable and shared targets. That is Kierkegaard's infinite negativity. Always a persona, an entity, a natural or human force, even the universe to ironize.
Yet Booth implies, scratches at the edges of an idea, actually, that I have long sought appreciation of, though obscured by what I didn't know that I didn't know, certainly since toddlerhood when I first encountered dissimulations of the Socratic kind and from which irony owes its fount. That is, that irony without victimization of any entity is sublime. To include self-effacement. The method is best practice understood in two disparate though equal and congruent distinctions, and indivisible. One, that knowledge can be learned objectively and subljectively through instruction by others and the self.
Yet instruction and learning assume degrees of ignorance and therefore an instruction situation assumes a process of progress from ignorance to enlightenment, whatever the topic could be. This is the exalted Socratic method of a progressive outpour of knowledge from general to specific as a situation requires.
Two, that the exalted Socratic method fosters valuable learning for mutual social participation in the moral human condition. What that moral value is has long eluded my awareness, and why I care in the first place. Selfless instructors persuasively share what they know such that an instructee's knowledge and values and morals advance and participate and responsibly contribute to common good. Period.
A perceived "victim" of such irony could resist learning, though realize knowledge benefits the individual and the common good. The resistance is the target of the irony, so to speak, not an individual. A natural force is the victim, though no victim, per se. Absented a victim altogether, the irony is sublime for the transformative effects of discovery and reversal. A learner learns resistance to knowledge acquisition, according to individual aptitude and need, is feudal.
Just a comment on the Socratic Method: one of my pet peeves is when someone (usually a teacher or lecturer of some kind) tries to use what they think is the Socratic Method to get audience members to read the teacher/lecturer's mind.
I'm fine with asking questions, but when a very specific answer is wanted, there has to be a better way to do it than to brush off anything that isn't exactly what the teacher/lecturer is looking for.
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I know what you mean. That technique is meant to showcase an instructor, not a dialectic progression of knowledge.
Socratic questions are best advised asked in a rhetorical manner that lead to revelation that is self-directed and most rewarding and therefore builds learner confidence and learning competence from the self-direction. The other, the above instructor showcase method, intends to diminish and subjugate learner confidence and stratify an instructional situation.
In many, if not all, responsible Socratic instructional situations, instruction builds upon prior learned knowledge, reviews extant-to-learners knowledge, spans knowledge gaps, surveys avenues to pursue for new-to-learners knowledge development, and gentles toward appreciated age- and learning-level and ongoing cognitive function growth.
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