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  1. Subversive Humor as Art and the Art of Subversive Humor.Chris A. Kramer - 2020 - The Philosophy of Humor Yearbook 1 (1):153–179.
    This article investigates the relationships between forms of humor that conjure up possible worlds and real-world social critiques. The first part of the article will argue that subversive humor, which is from or on behalf of historically and continually marginalized communities, constitutes a kind of aesthetic experience that can elicit enjoyment even in adversarial audiences. The second part will be a connecting piece, arguing that subversive humor can be constructed as brief narrative thought experiments that employ the use of fictionalized (...)
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  2. As If: Connecting Phenomenology, Mirror Neurons, Empathy, and Laughter.Chris A. Kramer - 2012 - PhaenEx 7 (1):275-308.
    The discovery of mirror neurons in both primates and humans has led to an enormous amount of research and speculation as to how conscious beings are able to interact so effortlessly among one another. Mirror neurons might provide an embodied basis for passive synthesis and the eventual process of further communalization through empathy, as envisioned by Edmund Husserl. I consider the possibility of a phenomenological and scientific investigation of laughter as a point of connection that might in the future bridge (...)
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  3. Subversive Humor.Chris A. Kramer - 2015 - Dissertation, Marquette
    Oppression is easily recognized. That is, at least, when oppression results from overt, consciously professed racism, for example, in which violence, explicit exclusion from economic opportunities, denial of adequate legal access, and open discrimination perpetuate the subjugation of a group of people. There are relatively clear legal remedies to such oppression. But this is not the case with covert oppression where the psychological harms and resulting legal and economic exclusion are every bit as real, but caused by concealed mechanisms subtly (...)
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  4. I Laugh Because It's Absurd: Humor as Error Detection.Chris A. Kramer - 2021 - In Jennifer Marra Henrigillis and Steven Gimbel (ed.), It's Funny 'Cause It's True: The Lighthearted Philosophers Society's Introduction to Philosophy through Humor. pp. 82-93.
    “ A man orders a whole pizza pie for himself and is asked whether he would like it cut into eight or four slices. He responds, ‘Four, I’m on a diet ”’ (Noël Carroll) -/- While not hilarious --so funny that it induces chortling punctuated with outrageous vomiting--this little gem is amusing. We recognize that something has gone wrong. On a first reading it might not compute, something doesn’t quite make sense. Then, aha! , we understand the hapless dieter has (...)
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  5.  19
    How to Philosophize With A Hammer (A Squeaky Plastic One).Chris A. Kramer - 2021 - In Kishor Vaidya (ed.), Teach with a Sense of Humor: Why (and How to) Be a Funnier and More Effective Teacher and Laugh All the Way to Your Classroom. pp. 176-187.
    "The Mind is not a Vessel to be Filled but a Fire to be Kindled", and "Education is Not the Filling of Pail But the Lighting of a Fire", and ... Something About a Horse ... You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it smile? Because of the long face and all? (No, that can’t be it). Anyway, borrowing a bit from Plutarch and Yeats (maybe, there is no agreement on whether he said that about pails (...)
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  6.  60
    Dave Chappelle's Positive Propaganda.Chris A. Kramer - 2021 - In Mark Ralkowski (ed.), Dave Chappelle and Philosophy. Chicago, IL, USA: pp. 75-88.
    Some of Dave Chappelle’s uses of storytelling about seemingly mundane events, like his experiences with his “white friend Chip” and the police, are examples of what W.E.B. Du Bois calls “Positive Propaganda.” This is in contrast to “Demagoguery,” the sort of propaganda described by Jason Stanley that obstructs empathic recognition of others, and undermines reasonable debate among citizens regarding policies that matter: the justice system, welfare, inequality, and race, for example. Some of Chappelle’s humor, especially in his most recent Netflix (...)
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  7. An Existentialist Account of the Role of Humor Against Oppression.Chris A. Kramer - 2013 - Humor: International Journal of Humor Research 26 (4).
    I argue that the overt subjugation in the system of American slavery and its subsequent effects offer a case study for an existentialist analysis of freedom, oppression and humor. Concentrating on the writings and experiences of Frederick Douglass and the existentialists Simone De Beauvoir and Lewis Gordon, I investigate how the concepts of “spirit of seriousness”, “mystification”, and an existentialist reading of “double consciousness” for example, can elucidate the forms of explicit and concealed oppression. I then make the case that (...)
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  8. Incongruity and Seriousness.Chris A. Kramer - 2015 - Florida Philosophical Review 15 (1):1-18.
    In the first part of this paper, I will briefly introduce the concept of incongruity and its relation to humor and seriousness, connecting the ideas of Arthur Schopenhauer and the contemporary work of John Morreall. I will reveal some of the relations between Schopenhauer's notion of "seriousness" and the existentialists such as Jean Paul Sartre, Simone Be Beauvoir, and Lewis Gordon. In section II, I will consider the relationship between playfulness and incongruity, noting the role that enjoyment of incongruity plays (...)
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  9. The Playful Thought Experiments of Louis CK.Chris A. Kramer - 2016 - In Mark Ralkowski (ed.), Louis CK and Philosophy. Chicago, IL, USA: pp. 225-236.
    It is trivially true that comedians make jokes and thus are not serious; they are “just playing.” But watching Louis CK, especially his performances in Chewed Up, Shameless, and Hilarious, it is evident that he has more in mind than simply getting his audience to frivolously guffaw. I will make the case that this is so given the content of some of his humor which centers on areas of socio-political-ethical tensions that can be uncomfortable when addressed in a direct, “bona-fide” (...)
     
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  10. World-Traveling, Double Consciousness, and Laughter.Chris A. Kramer - 2017 - Israeli Journal for Humor Research 2 (6):93-119.
    In this paper I borrow from Maria Lugones’ work on playful “world-traveling” and W.E.B. Du Bois’ notion of “double consciousness” to make the case that humor can facilitate an openness and cooperative attitude among an otherwise closed, even adversarial audience. I focus on what I call “subversive” humor, that which is employed by or on behalf of those who have been continually marginalized. When effectively used, such humor can foster the inclination and even desire to listen to others and, if (...)
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  11.  57
    Review of A Philosophy of Humour. [REVIEW]Chris A. Kramer - 2020 - The Philosophy of Humor Yearbook 1 (1):309-314.
    In A Philosophy of Humour, Alan Roberts presents a brief but extremely well-resourced overview of the history of the philosophy of humor (I will omit “u” for brevity, the soul of wit), and offers a new theory of humor focusing on the role of amusement. This text does not assume any prior acquaintance with theories of humor or philosophy, and in light of this, Roberts does well to define, either in the text or a brief note, the philosophical concepts necessary (...)
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  12.  9
    Mark Twain’s Serious Humor and That Peculiar Institution: Christianity.Chris A. Kramer - 2017 - In Alan H. Goldman (ed.), Mark Twain and Philosophy. Lanham, MD 20706, USA: pp. 125-136.
    According to Manuel Davenport, “The best humorists--Mark Twain, Will Rogers, Bob Hope, and Mort Sahl--share [a] mixture of detachment and desire, eagerness to believe, and irreverence concerning the possibility of certainty. And when they become serious about their convictions--as Twain did about colonialism…they cease to be humorous” (p. 171). I agree with the first part, but not the second. Humor does require disengagement, but not completely such that one has no emotional interest in the subject of the humor. Humor does (...)
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  13. A Wise Person Proportions Their Beliefs With Humor.Chris A. Kramer - 2021 - The Philosophy of Humor Yearbook 2 (1):141-143.
    “Just as philosophy begins with doubt, so also a life that may be called human begins with irony” (Kierkegaard The Concept of Irony with Continual Reference to Socrates, pg.6, thesis XV) What has proportion to do with humor or irony? And what do either of these have to do with being human? Jokes, laughter, and funniness connote excess, exaggeration, incongruity, dissonance, etc., the opposite of proportion--balance, symmetry, Aristotle’s golden mean. Yet, The Philosopher maintains, the wit has found the ideal moderate (...)
     
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  14. How Socratic Is Swift's Irony?Chris A. Kramer - 2017 - In Janelle Pötzsch (ed.), Jonathan Swift and Philosophy. Lanham, MD 20706, USA: pp. 13-25.
    Was Swift correct that “reasoning will never make a man correct an ill opinion, which by reasoning he never acquired” (Letter to a Young Gentleman)? If so, what recourse is there to change attitudes especially among those who continue to fervently believe unjustified claims and act upon them in a way that affects other people? I will answer the first question with a qualified yes, and the second I will follow Swift’s implicit proposal to rely upon humor, satire, playful ridicule, (...)
     
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  15.  3
    As If: Connecting Phenomenology, Mirror Neurons, Empathy, and Laughter.Chris A. Kramer - 2012 - Phaenex: Journal of Existential and Phenomenological Theory and Culture 7 (1).
    The discovery of mirror neurons in both primates and humans has led to an enormous amount of research and speculation as to how conscious beings are able to interact so effortlessly among one another. Mirror neurons might provide an embodied basis for passive synthesis and the eventual process of further communalization through empathy, as envisioned by Edmund Husserl. I consider the possibility of a phenomenological and scientific investigation of laughter as a point of connection that might in the future bridge (...)
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