Post-modernism believes in nothing, not even unbelief. Hence it is a genial version of nihilism, and the flip side of despair. Like skepticism (from which it descends), it is healthy insofar as it rejects all dogmas; but unhealthy insofar as it substitutes its own, while eating its own essence. This book diagnoses this disease, and offers irony as its cure. What failure of nerve did to Hellenism, strength of character must do for the decline of the best. Humor, laughter, and detachment are the gifts of historical art, and of Socratic science. As we take refuge in the myth of truth, we must realize that there is no truth in myth, and no comfort in illusion, except the lie of immortality.
Editorial Foreword. Forward Foreword. ONE Clio's Gift: Collingwoodian Meditations on History as Philosophy. TWO I Lie, Therefore I Am: Humanity and Strategy in Descartes's Discourse on Method. THREE Montaigne, Descartes, and the French Revolution. FOUR Conversations with Myself: Reflections on/of Richard Rorty. FIVE The Propaganda Imperative. SIX Hell and Dystopia. SEVEN Who Killed Fyodor Karamazov? EIGHT The Cosmic Joke: The Anthropic Principle as Technofarce. NINE Someone Named Smith. TEN Jim Bouton, Stanley Fish, and No-Theory Theory. EPILOGUE Mud in Bloom; Or, Why Are We Here? References. About the Author. Index of Names. Index of Topics.