In the wake of the recent publication of his book, A Case for Irony, Jonathan Lear, John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor in the Committee on Social Thought and the Department of Philosophy, was interviewed by journalist Alice Karezeki. Professor Lear weighs in on, among other subjects, Eros, Abraham Lincoln, and Stephen Colbert.
From the interview:
But when [Colbert] looks straight into the camera and says, “Nation,” on the one hand it’s a very funny routine and it’s mimetic. He’s imitating others, and we recognize the imitation, and we enjoy the mimesis, and it’s pleasurable, but when he does that, is there ever a moment when one is stung by the thought: Well, what would it be to be a nation? What would it be for us to be a polity that could be addressed? Underneath the very real humor – and I’m not saying it’s always arising – but there’s a possibility of actually getting shaken up about this.
Read the whole Q&A here.