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“ The ironic speech situation: discursive democracy, citizenship, and humor ”. Sammy Basu PhD Associate Professor of Politics Willamette University Salem Oregon, USA. Overview. I. Deliberative democracy II. What ’ s so bad about humor? III. What is humor?

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The ironic speech situation discursive democracy citizenship and humor l.jpg

The ironic speech situation: discursive democracy, citizenship, and humor”

Sammy Basu PhD

Associate Professor of Politics

Willamette University

Salem Oregon, USA


Overview l.jpg
Overview

  • I. Deliberative democracy

  • II. What’s so bad about humor?

  • III. What is humor?

  • IV. What’s so bad about deliberative democracy?

  • V. The ironic speech situation


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I. Deliberative democracy

  • Representative democracy and communitarian alternatives

  • Jurgen Habermas and the Ideal Speech Situation according to which “In the final analysis, the normative content arises from the very structure of communicative actions” (1996:26).


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II. What’s so bad about humor?



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For Habermas (1982:271), “jokes, fictional representations, irony, games, and so on, rest on intentionally using categorical confusions which, in the wake of the differentiation of validity-claims and corresponding modes (being/illusion, is/ought, essence/appearance), are seen through as category mistakes.”











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IV. What’s so bad about deliberative democracy?


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1. Buffoon, or capacity for

  • Holistic critic

  • Specific critic

  • Linguistic critic



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Specific

Criticism


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Linguistic criticism:

Support our tropes


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2. Boor,

or

Devil’s

Advocate?


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  • It would seem that you cannot be funny without being vulgar —…. For it is not only sex that is ‘vulgar’. So are death, childbirth and poverty, the other three subjects upon which the best music-hall humour turns. And respect for the intellect and strong political feeling, if not actually vulgar, are looked upon as being in doubtful taste. You cannot be really funny if your main aim is to flatter the comfortable classes: it means leaving out too much. To be funny, indeed, you have got to be serious.” Orwell (1968)


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3. Cynic

(and misanthrope) or necessary hostility?




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