In an era that proclaims itself postironic, the question and problem of irony are of more interest than ever. In this compelling inquiry, Claire Colebrook first takes up all the major figures in post-Cartesian philosophy on the subject of irony: Spinoza, Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche. She similarly examines the modern thinkers in the Anglo-Saxon tradition: Rorty, Searle, and de Man. She then engages in an analysis of the Continental canon and the ironic dimension that marks contemporary philosophy.
Beyond the question of irony, Colebrook treats the presence of irony in the history of philosophy and those points of overlap between nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature and philosophy. Ultimately, she extends what has belonged primarily to the domain of literature into a world of concepts.