Do Moral Flaws Enhance Amusement?

American Philosophical Quarterly 46 (2):151-163 (2009)
I argue that genuine moral flaws never enhance amusement, but they sometimes detract.I argue against comic immoralism--the position that moral flaws can make attempts at humor more amusing.Two common errors have made immoralism look attractive.First, immoralists have confused outrageous content with genuine moral flaws.Second, immoralists have failed to see that it is not sufficient to show that a morally flawed joke is amusing; they need to show that a joke can be more amusing because of the fact that it is morally flawed.I argue that the immoralist lacks a plausible account of how this could be the case.I reject immoralism and argue for comic moralism—the position that moral flaws can make attempts at humor less amusing.
Keywords humor  moralism  immoralism
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DOI 10.2307/20464447
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Luvell Anderson (2015). Racist Humor. Philosophy Compass 10 (8):501-509.
Joshua Shaw (2010). Philosophy of Humor. Philosophy Compass 5 (2):112-126.

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