The function and content of amusement

South African Journal of Philosophy 25 (2):126-137 (2006)
Once we establish that the fundamental subject matter of the study of humour is a mental state – which I will call finding funny – then it immediately follows that we need to find the content and function of this mental state. The main contender for the content of finding funny is the incongruous (the incongruity thesis ); the main contenders for the function of finding funny are grounded either in its generally being an enjoyable state (the gratification thesis ) or its tendency to lead to biased social attitudes (the favouritism thesis ). While all three of these families of claims are well-supported and individually plausible, the situation looks different once we attempt to unify our accounts of the content and function of finding funny . While functions based in the gratification thesis readily combine with the incongruity thesis, it is not at all clear how the phenomenon described by the favouritism thesis arises from a state with this content. The upshot is that we may have to sideline the favouritism thesis in our theory of humour. South African Journal of Philosophy Vol. 25(2) 2006: 126-137
Keywords Amusement  Function  Humor  Mental States  Metaphysics
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.4314/sajpem.v25i2.31439
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,209
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

35 ( #135,011 of 1,941,049 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #272,623 of 1,941,049 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.