Philosophical Psychology 34 (3):374-396 (2021)

Dong An
Zhejiang University
Justin D’Arms and Daniel Jacobson have argued that to evaluate the funniness of a joke based on the consideration of whether it is morally appropriate to feel amused commits the “moralistic fallacy.” We offer a new and empirically informed reply. We argue that there is a way to take morality into consideration without committing this fallacy, that is, it is legitimate to say that for some people, witty but immoral jokes can fail to be funny because they are immoral. In our account, one has an intramural moral reason not to feel amused if one focuses on the moral feature itself of a joke rather than the moral consequence implied in one’s reaction to the joke. When one judges a joke as not funny because of the intramural moral reason, one is in a negative emotional state with high arousal, for example, moral disgust or anger. This state is psychologically incompatible with amusement. That one has an intramural reason not to feel amused thus implies that one does not have a reason to feel amused. Moral consideration thus plays an indirect and appropriate role in the evaluation of the funniness of a joke.
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DOI 10.1080/09515089.2021.1874331
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References found in this work BETA

The Logic of Scientific Discovery.Karl Popper - 1959 - Studia Logica 9:262-265.
Moral Luck.B. A. O. Williams & T. Nagel - 1976 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 50:115 - 151.
Are Moral Requirements Hypothetical Imperatives?John Mcdowell & I. G. Mcfetridge - 1978 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes 52:13-42.

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