Dieter Declercq publishes on Irony, Disruption and Moral Imperfection

Dr Dieter Declercq

Dr Dieter Declercq, Lecturer in Film and Media Studies in the School of Arts, has recently published an article entitled ‘Irony, Disruption and Moral Imperfection‘ for the journal Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, which is free to read online.

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice aims to publish the best work produced in all fields of ethics, accessible to the philosophical community at large and free of any jargon and formal apparatus.

Don’t you just feel like such a Chidi sometimes? Dieter’s new article about how the ironic representation of moral perfectionists like Chidi Anagonye on The Good Place can help us manage our wellbeing. Ironic characters like Chidi show us what life would be like if we always aspired to make the morally perfect choice: unbearable. Irony allows us to distance ourselves from an otherwise oppressing ideal or moral perfectionism and helps us come to terms with our imperfections.

‘I argue that the morally suspicious reputation of irony unduly persists because the irony which is existentially and morally relevant has not been primarily understood as an offshoot of communicative irony’, Dieter writes. ‘Redressing this oversight, I do not conclude that irony is by default morally virtuous. Yet, equally, irony is also not by default morally suspicious. Rather, irony is a form of emotional distancing which can mediate the unavoidable disruption of moral imperfection in our lives, when applied with the right measure, in the right circumstances.’

Dieter’s article is free to read on the publisher’s website here: