Political Theory 41 (2):203-230 (2013)

While the loss of the second book of the Poetics has deprived us of Aristotle’s most extensive account of laughter and comedy, his discussion of eutrapelia as a virtue in his ethical works and in the Rhetoric points toward the importance of humor for his ethical and political thought. This article offers a reconstruction of Aristotle’s account of wittiness and attempts to explain how the virtue of wittiness would animate the everyday interactions of ordinary citizens. Placing Aristotle’s account of wittiness in dialogue with recent work within the ethical turn in contemporary political theory can help articulate what a late-modern ethos of democratic laughter might look like.
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DOI 10.1177/0090591712470624
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Comedy as Dissonant Rhetoric.Simon Lambek - forthcoming - Philosophy and Social Criticism:019145372210796.

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