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Paper Presentation

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Irony is an interesting yet understudied rhetorical scheme. In the current study, several notable uses of irony in the Socratic dialogues are investigated to explore 1. What is said, 2. What is interpreted by the interlocutor internal to dialogue, 3. The effect of employing irony on the interlocutor within the dialogue, and 4. What is interpreted by the reader as a literary piece. The results are presented with the attempt of understanding Socrates’ intentional use of irony as a teaching and argumentative method, and to examine how the techniques and intended effects can be reproducible in a teaching context. From the exploratory dialogue method of Socrates, to the blunder invoking technique of Columbo, criticizing, and provoking confusion, maieutic irony has much to contribute to pedagogical practice.


Semiotic Society of America Annual Meeting


Pittsburgh, PA


College of Arts and Sciences


Kathryn Hamm's (alternate name: Kathryn Cook) ORCID ID is 0000-0002-0224-6616

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Philosophy Commons



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