In a comprehensive introduction and six tightly argued essays, the authors demonstrate how rich and suggestive the notion of contradiction in discourse can be.
Henry Johnstone on Hesiod, Charles Altieri on Plato and Socrates, Mili Clark on Milton and his God, Marc Shell on Kant and Hegel, Brian Caraher on Wordsworth and I. A. Richards, and Richard Kuhns on Melville, Freud, and Bertrand Russell contribute provocative analyses of how rhetorical and conceptual contradictions produce rather than disable constructive discourse. Along the way, strife among competing truth-claims; the ethos of self-evasive irony; the generative nature of paradox; the dialectical sublation of opposites; the experiential structure of poetic metaphor; and the fictional implications of the liar's paradox are engaged.
Brian G. Caraher is Associate Professor of English at Indiana University. He is the author of the forthcoming The Joyce of Reading.