Humour is worthy of serious ethical consideration. However, it is often taken far too seriously. In this paper, it is argued that while humour is sometimes unethical, it is wrong much less often than many people think. Non-contextual criticisms, which claim that certain kinds of humour are always wrong, are rejected. Contextual criticisms, which take issue with particular instances of humour rather than types of humour, are more promising. However, it is common to overstate the number of contexts in which (...) humour is wrong. Various mistakes of this kind are highlighted and cautioned against. (shrink)
Comic Relief: A Comprehensive Philosophy of Humor develops an inclusive theory that integrates psychological, aesthetic, and ethical issues relating to humor Offers an enlightening and accessible foray into the serious business of humor Reveals how standard theories of humor fail to explain its true nature and actually support traditional prejudices against humor as being antisocial, irrational, and foolish Argues that humor’s benefits overlap significantly with those of philosophy Includes a foreword by Robert Mankoff, Cartoon (...) Editor of The New Yorker. (shrink)
Finding something humorous is intrinsically rewarding and may facilitate emotion regulation, but what creates humour has been underexplored. The present experimental study examined humour generated under controlled conditions with varying social, affective, and cognitive factors. Participants listed five ways in which a set of concept pairs (e.g. MONEY and CHOCOLATE) were similar or different in either a funny way (intentional humour elicitation) or a “catchy” way (incidental humour elicitation). Results showed that more funny responses were produced under the incidental condition, (...) and particularly more for affectively charged than neutral concepts, for semantically unrelated than related concepts, and for responses highlighting differences rather than similarities between concepts. Further analyses revealed that funny responses showed a relative divergence in output dominance of the properties typically associated with each concept in the pair (that is, funny responses frequently highlighted a property high in output dominance for one concept but simultaneously low in output dominance for the other concept); by contrast, responses judged not funny did not show this pattern. These findings reinforce the centrality of incongruity resolution as a key cognitive ingredient for some pleasurable emotional elements arising from humour and demonstrate how it may operate within the context of humour generation. (shrink)
This book assesses the adequacy of the traditional theories of laughter and humor, suggests revised theories, and explores such areas as the aesthetics and ethics of humor, and the relation of amusement to other mental states. Theories of laughter and humor originated in ancient times with the view that laughter is an expression of feelings of superiority over another person. This superiority theory was held by Plato, Aristotle, and Hobbes. Another aspect of laughter, noted by Aristotle and (...) Cicero and neglected until Kant and Schopenhauer developed it into the incongruity theory, is that laughter is often a reaction to the perception of some incongruity. According to the third and latest traditional theory, the relief theory of Herbert Spencer and Freud, laughter is the venting of superfluous nervous energy. Historical examples of all these theories are presented along with hybrid theories such as those of Descartes and Bergson. The book also features traditional explorations of the place of humor in aesthetics, drama, and literature. This is the first work in the last fifty years to include the classic sources in the philosophy of humor and the first to present theories by contemporary philosophers. (shrink)
In this paper, I seek to explore the increasing popular claim that the performance of philosophy and the performance of humor share similar features. I argue that the explanation lies in the function of humor—a function which can be a catalyst for philosophy. Following Ernst Cassirer’s philosophy of symbolic forms and utilizing insights from various philosophical and scientific perspectives on the nature and origins of humor, I argue that the function of humor is to reveal faulty (...) belief or error in judgment. Once such errors are revealed the mind demands resolution, and this is the work of philosophy. But philosophy cannot solve a problem unless it recognizes that there is a problem to solve. That is, the move from ignorance to philosophy requires a mediating step. Humor can act as that step, and, as such, humor can serve as a catalyst for philosophy while being necessarily distinct from it. (shrink)
According to the standard analysis, humor theories can be classified into three neatly identifiable groups:incongruity, superiority, and relief theories. Incongruity theory is the leading approach and includes historical figures such as Immanuel Kant, Søren Kierkegaard, and perhaps has its origins in comments made by Aristotle in the Rhetoric. Primarily focusing on the object of humor, this school sees humor as a response to an incongruity, a term broadly used to include ambiguity, logical impossibility, irrelevance, and inappropriateness. The (...) paradigmatic Superiority theorist is Thomas Hobbes, who said that humor arises from a “sudden glory” felt when we recognize our supremacy over others. Plato and Aristotle are generally considered superiority theorists, who emphasize the aggressive feelings that fuel humor. The third group, Relief theory, is typically associated with Sigmund Freud and Herbert Spencer, who saw humor as fundamentally a way to release or save energy generated by repression. In addition, this article will explore a fourth group of theories of humor: play theory. Play theorists are not so much listing necessary conditions for something’s counting as humor, as they are asking us to look at humor as an extension of animal play. (shrink)
Usually the ethics of humor revolves around the content of humor. After giving a synopsis and exposing some shortcomings of the recent controversies, this paper takes into account additional aspects and proposes a change of perspective from token to type level and deploys tools of the philosophy of language to tackle the question whether a joke as a type can be considered morally flawed irrespective of its tokens. After exploring possible ways one can think of to furnish evidence (...) for the opposite position, two novel lines of argumentation based on counterfactual conditionals and speech act theory are provided to show that these ways aren’t viable and that joke as types (even offensive jokes like sexist or racist ones) are ethically neutral. Moreover, the presented approach increases the resolution of the debate and provides a framework to capture other hitherto neglected questions of the philosophy humor as well. (shrink)
Comparatively speaking, philosophy has not been especially long-winded in attempting to answer questions about what is funny and why we should think so. There is the standard debate of many centuries’ standing between superiority and incongruity accounts of humor, which for the most part attempt to identify the intentional objects of our amusement.1 There is the more recent debate about humor and morality, about whether jokes themselves may be regarded as immoral or about whether it can in certain (...) circumstances be wrong to laugh.2 There is even apparently some disagreement about whether amusement is an emotion proper or a different kind of psychological attitude altogether. While I have almost despite myself taken .. (shrink)
Building on the theory of humor advanced by Yves Cusset in his recent book Rire: Tractatus philo-comicus, I argue that we can understand the phenomenon in terms of what Jean-Luc Nancy, following Roland Barthes, has called the exemption from sense. I attempt to show how the humorous sensibility, understood in this way, is entirely incompatible with the experience of others as contemptible. I conclude by developing some of the normative implications of this, focusing specifically on the question whether it (...) is ever morally permissible to treat others with contempt. (shrink)
Any analysis of "In the Company of Men" is forced to answer three questions of central importance to the ethics of humor: What does it mean to find sexist humor funny? What are the various sources of humor? And, can moral flaws with attempts at humor increase their humorousness? I argued that although merely finding a joke funny in a neutral context cannot tell you anything reliable about a person's beliefs, in context, a joke may reveal (...) a great deal about one’s social attitudes, or feelings of insecurity. Especially in its portrayal of Howard, the film exposes the role of insecurity as a source of humor. Not only can insecurity make one more prone to laugh, but it can also make someone seem funnier in some contexts. I contended that this shows that a strong version of the superiority theory of humor is clearly wrong. Furthermore, the disparate audience reactions to Chad's jokes showed that the morally sensitive who were aware of the purpose of his jokes would see them as ethically flawed. Rather than making the jokes more amusing, the fact that the jokes were considered to be ethically flawed made them less funny. Hence, immoralism is most likely false. (shrink)
Although the ethics of humor is a relatively new field, it already seems to have achieved a consensus about ethics in general. In this paper, I implicitly (1) question the view of ethics that stands behind many discussions in the ethics of humor; I do this by explicitly (2) focusing on what has been a chief preoccupation in the ethics of humor: the evaluation of humor. Does the immoral content of a joke make it more or (...) less humorous? Specifically, I analyze whether a sexist joke is more humorous because of its sexism. Contra recent trends in the ethics of humor, I answer this question affirmatively. To this end, the paper presents a detailed and novel reading of Bergson's philosophy of humor, which I argue connects most easily and significantly to the alternate view of ethics I have in mind. (shrink)
This paper considers the question of how immoral elements in instances of humour affect funniness. Comic ethicism is the position that each immoral element negatively affects funniness and if their cumulative effect is sufficient, then funniness is eliminated. I focus on Berys Gaut’s central argument in favour of comic ethicism; the merited response argument. In this journal, Noël Carroll has criticized the merited response argument as illegitimately conflating comic merit with moral merit. I argue that the merited response argument, and (...) hence comic ethicism more generally, is vulnerable to Carroll’s criticism only if the comic ethicist fails to distinguish between three closely-related but distinct concepts; humour, amusement and funniness. By providing separate accounts of these three concepts, I explain how Carroll’s criticism is unsuccessful. In summary, accepting my distinctions between humour, amusement and funniness makes it clear that comic ethicism is the right position. (shrink)
This paper develops a programmatic 'theory sketch' of a new theory of humour, pitched at roughly the same level of detail, and intended to have roughly the same level of inclusiveness, as the other available philosophical "theories" of humour. I will call the theory I propose the distance theory. After an appeal to some intuitive illustrations of the distance theory's attractions, I move on to offer an analysis of observational comedy using the distance theory. I conclude the paper with some (...) speculative remarks about the possible connections between the practice of observational comedy and the discipline of philosophy. (shrink)
In this article, I consider the standard interpretation of the superiority theory of humor attributed to Plato, Aristotle, and Hobbes, according to which the theory allegedly places feelings of superiority at the center of humor and comic amusement. The view that feelings of superiority are at the heart of all comic amusement is wildly implausible. Therefore textual evidence for the interpretation of Plato, Aristotle, or Hobbes as offering the superiority theory as an essentialist theory of humor is (...) worth careful consideration. Through textual analysis I argue that not one of these three philosophers defends an essentialist theory of comic amusement. I also discuss the way various theories of humor relate to one another and the proper place of a superiority theory in humor theory in light of my analysis. (shrink)
In a series of important papers, Justin D’Arms and Daniel Jacobson argue that all extant neo-sentimentalists are guilty of a conflation error that they call the moralistic fallacy. One commits the moralistic fallacy when one infers from the fact that it would be morally wrong to experience an affective attitude—e.g., it would be wrong to be amused—that the attitude does not fit its object—e.g., that it is not funny. Such inferences, they argue, conflate the appropriateness conditions of attitudinal responses with (...) the fittingness conditions of the associated evaluative properties. Further, they argue that moral considerations are irrelevant for determining if amusement fits its object. We agree that a strong moralizing of humor is wrongheaded and that jokes can be quite funny even in cases where we have a compelling moral reason to not be amused. However, we argue that pace D’Arms and Jacobson moral considerations can be relevant for property ascription. On our view, in order for a joke to be funny, a properly sensitive agent must take herself to have a contributory reason to be amused, and in some cases that she lacks such a reason is best explained by appeal to moral considerations. We use this constraint as the basis of what we call our modest proposal for a modest sentimentalism. (shrink)
Humor plays an essential role in human interactions. Precisely what makes something funny, however, remains elusive. While research on natural language understanding has made significant advancements in recent years, there has been little direct integration of humor research with computational models of language understanding. In this paper, we propose two information-theoretic measures—ambiguity and distinctiveness—derived from a simple model of sentence processing. We test these measures on a set of puns and regular sentences and show that they correlate significantly (...) with human judgments of funniness. Moreover, within a set of puns, the distinctiveness measure distinguishes exceptionally funny puns from mediocre ones. Our work is the first, to our knowledge, to integrate a computational model of general language understanding and humor theory to quantitatively predict humor at a fine-grained level. We present it as an example of a framework for applying models of language processing to understand higher level linguistic and cognitive phenomena. (shrink)
In her “Humor, Belief and Prejudice”, Robin Tapley concludes: -/- "Racist/racial, sexist/gender humor is funny because we think it’s true. We know the beliefs exist in the laugher, there’s no way to philosophically maneuver around that." -/- In what follows I’ll be trying to do some philosophical maneuvering of the sort she thinks hopeless in the quote above.
Book review: FERRAZ, Salma; MAGALHÃES, Antônio C. M.; BRANDÃO, Eli et alii.. Teologia do Riso: humor e mau humor na Bíblia e no cristianismo. Campina Grande: EDUEPB, 2017. 574p. il. ISBN: 978-85-7879-409-5 ISBN E-BOOK: 978-85-7879-410-1.
This paper provides a defense of the thesis that God has a sense of humor. First, I sketch the four main theories of what it is to have a sense of humor that we find in the literature. Next, I argue that three arguments against the thesis that God has a sense of humor fail to convince. Then, I consider what one might take to be four biblical reasons to think that God has a sense of (...) class='Hi'>humor and argue that none of them are convincing. Subsequently, I give three philosophical reasons to think that God (if he exists) has a sense of humor, that is, reasons that any person who grasps the concept of God should be willing to embrace. These arguments differ in strength, but I argue that, jointly, they provide us with sufficient reason to think that God has a sense of humor. Finally, I spell out three implications of the idea that God has a sense of humor. (shrink)
It has been claimed that Indian Buddhism, as opposed to East Asian Chan/Zen traditions, was somehow against humour. In this paper I contend that humour is discernible in canonical Indian Buddhist texts, particularly in Indian Buddhist monastic law codes (Vinaya). I will attempt to establish that what we find in these texts sometimes is not only humourous but that it is intentionally so. I approach this topic by comparing different versions of the same narratives preserved in Indian Buddhist monastic law (...) codes. (shrink)
This article discusses whether a sense of humor is a political virtue. It argues that a sense of humor is conducive to the central political virtues. We must first, however, delineate different types of humor (benevolent or malicious) and the different political virtues (sociability, prudence, and justice) to which they correspond. Generally speaking, a sense of humor is politically virtuous when it encourages good will toward fellow citizens, an awareness of the limits of power, and a (...) tendency not to take oneself too seriously or when it condemns moral or intellectual vice. An analysis of President Donald Trumps deeply flawed sense of humor is used to ground this account. (shrink)
Humour is a funny thing. Everyone knows what humour is but no-one knows exactly how it works. This is the reason why I decided to write a PhD on the philosophy of humour. Some may see this as an odd mix – after all, philosophy is a weighty discipline and humour a light topic. -/- But humour is a phenomenon that anthropologists have discovered in every known human culture and the average person laughs around 17 times a day. Moreover, although (...) primatologists have observed laughter in apes (and rats), the mental sophistication required for full-blown humour seems to be exclusively human. Surely this makes it a legitimate topic to furrow a few philosophical brows. -/- So humour is human – but plenty of us have not perfected the art quite yet. For those still struggling, here are four rules of thumb for being more humorous. (shrink)
In this essay, I examine the mode of operation and aim of debates in the Tibetan Buddhist traditions. I contrast the probative form of argument that was privileged by the Indian tradition to the more agonic practice favored by Tibetan scholastics. I also examine the rules that preside over this dialectical practice, which is seen by the Tibetan tradition as essential to a proper scholastic education. I argue, however, that the practice of debates cannot be reduced to this dialectical model, (...) for it has an important performative aspect not easily encompassed by the rules. I examine this aspect of Tibetan debates, focusing particularly on the role of humor. I conclude with a few remarks on the type of rationality entailed by the importance of humor and of other rhetorical elements involved in Tibetan debates. (shrink)
The article deals with the aesthetic dimension of humour. The author starts with Hannah Arendt’s distinction between labour as a set of tasks necessary for the reproduction of biological life and praxis as an expression of freedom. In the same way the humour would be detached from the “working communication” of everyday life. Humour represents a “break” with ordinary modes of communication. This is done through “transpositions”, which can take the form of objectual transpositions (which play on the equivocal references (...) of a term), verbal transpositions (which contrast the uttered hypertext with a more usual hypotext; self-deprecation is a special case of verbal transposition) or metacognitive transpositions (like the “lapalissade”). The aesthetic value of humour is increased by the simplicity of the means used to obtain the contrast. (shrink)
Humor is pervasive in contemporary culture, and is generally celebrated as a public good. Yet there are times when it is felt to produce intolerance, misunderstanding or even hatred. This book brings together, for the first time, contributions that consider the ethics as well as the aesthetics of humor. The book focuses on the abuses and limits of humor, some of which excite considerable social tension and controversy. Beyond a Joke is an exciting intervention, full of challenging (...) questions and issues. (shrink)
Disputing the common misconception that nihilism is wholly negative and necessarily damaging to the human spirit, John Marmysz offers a clear and complete definition to argue that it is compatible, and indeed preferably responded to, with an attitude of good humor. He carefully scrutinizes the phenomenon of nihilism as it appears in the works, lives, and actions of key figures in the history of philosophy, literature, politics, and theology, including Nietzsche, Heidegger, Camus, and Mishima. While suggesting that there ultimately (...) is no solution to the problem of nihilism, Marmysz proposes a way of utilizing the anxiety and despair that is associated with the problem as a spur toward liveliness, activity, and the celebration of life. (shrink)
This anthology is divided into two parts: religious laughter and laughing at religion. Caricature of religion through cartoons and the consequent politics is also examined through an analysis of Greek history. That guilelessness and simplicity are core spiritual values and spirituality has a close connection with humour is well established through this work.
The highlight of Simon Critchley's small book On Humor (2002) is the inclusion of seven beautiful prints by Charles Le Brun at the start of each chapter. Le Brun's captivating drawings are zoomorphic studies of the human face, each in relation to a different animal.
Humour can be utilised to mark out the boundaries of social groups, to produce and restore dignity, but also to produce contempt, marginalise and exclude. Humour and ridicule can be used to influence hierarchies and positioning among children in the classroom and it can have strong effects in school groups saturated with bullying practices. Ridicule appears to be widespread, very much feared, and not easily amenable to adult interventions. With this article, I look into the many and frequently subtle ways (...) humour intertwines itself in relational practices among children, with a particular focus on children in groups plagued by bullying and social tension. I focus on the entanglement of humour in the complex manoeuvrings that characterise children's worlds, and the subtle mechanisms involved in the self-regulation of their communities in and outside schools. The analyses and analytical understanding that I develop are grounded in qualitative data such as interviews with children and extensive observation in schools and in after school care. (shrink)
Most everything one might think about humor is in dispute. Only a few negative claims are fairly clear. Does humor always involve feelings of superiority? Probably not. But what properties do objects need in order to be amusing? Most plausibly, humorous objects present non-threatening incongruities. However, not all such incongruities are amusing. So there must be something more. -/- What is the connection between feelings of amusement and laughter? Amusement typically leads to laughter, but not always. And we (...) often laugh simply out of nervousness. Could someone feel intense amusement and not have the slightest urge to laugh? -/- Is amusement an emotion like fear, anger, or embarrassment? Pre-reflectively it seems so, but amusement is curiously different: it lacks concern, something we find in all other standard emotional responses. -/- Many think that we can rationally justify at least some emotional responses. It seems that anger, for instance, can be appropriate or inappropriate. Can the same be said of amusement? Some people do seem to laugh inappropriately, but it's hard to think that they have incorrectly evaluated something as humorous. (shrink)
We tend to take the phenomenon of humour for granted, seeing it for the most part as something innately and fundamentally human. However we might go even further than this, and say that the phenomenon of humour is perceived as an essential part of what makes us human. In this respect, philosophers and theorists as wide apart as Aristotle and the French, feminist Julia Kristeva (1980; also see Goldberg, 1999a) have regarded a baby's ability to laugh as one of the (...) earliest signs of the separation of 'self' from 'other', a reciprocal process deemed to be crucial to the formation of a separate identity. However, although the general importance of humour might be agreed amongst researchers, what theoretical position one takes will have a profound effect on how one approaches and analyses humour. In much psychological research the focus tends to be on how humour works, i.e., syntax, semantic categories, sex differences, personality types, etc., and one finds a frustrating neglect of what is actually meant by the term 'humour' in terms of history and emergences. Consequently, an important question tends to go unchallenged: Is humour some unproblematic innate human ability, or, a socially defined concept that has changed and mutated alongside our understanding of what is means to be person ? In an attempt to grapple with this question, the following genealogical account is less concerned with fathoming out how humour works than with relating it to notions of human subjectivity, or how theories of humor have informed and reflected social constructs of what it means to be a 'subject'. (shrink)
Part I of this article advanced a new theory of humor, the Enlightenment Theory, while contrasting it with other main theories, including the Incongruity, Repression/Relief/Release, and Superiority Theories. The Enlightenment Theory does not contradict these other theories but rather subsumes them. As argued, each of the other theories cannot account for all the aspects of humor explained by the Enlightenment Theory. Part II shows how the Enlightenment Theory meets challenging issues in humor theory where other theories falter, (...) including failed humor, motivation for humor, tickling, laughing gas, and sadistic humor. Also mentioned are the Enlightenment Theory's application to literary and musical humor and the relationship of wit to humor. -/- . (shrink)
Howard Curzer argues that Aristotle’s virtue of wit is a social virtue, a form of philia: conversation with a witty person is pleasing rather than offensive or hateful. On the basis of an analogy between wit and temperance, Curzer holds that the witty person is good at detecting (and avoiding) hateful humor but is not necessarily an expert in judging the funniness of jokes. Curzer thus defends a moderate position in contemporary philosophy of humor—a Detraction Account of hateful (...)humor—arguing that the humorousness of a joke is an aggregate plea- sure resulting from several factors in addition to funniness. While sympathetic to Curzer’s overall approach to wit, this essay criticizes the Detraction Account as inconsistent with Aristotle’s text and implausible in its own right, and suggests a friendly amendment based on those criticisms. (shrink)
Recently Geoffrey Miller has suggested that humor evolved through sexual selection as a signal of "creativity," which in turn implies youthfulness, intelligence, and adaptive unpredictability. Drawing upon available empirical studies, I argue that the evidence for a link between humor and creativity is weak and ambiguous. I also find only tenuous support for Miller’s assumption that the attractiveness of the "sense of humor" is to be found in the wittiness of its possessor, since those who use the (...) phrase often seem to associate it with the affects of relatively mirthless "bonding" laughter. Humor, I conclude, may have evolved as an instrument for achieving broad social adhesiveness and for facilitating the individual’s maneuverability within the group, but that it evolved through sexual selection has yet to be convincingly demonstrated. (shrink)
The authors begins with the observation that jokes can have a different moral import: some may even be edifying. Is humor therefore to be integrated into an overall moral perspective? One of the leading philosophers of the 19th century, S. Kierkegaard, pleaded for such an integration. The best way to understand why he took such a stand is to articulate the edifying jokes - or rather the humor that underlies them - in terms of Kierkegaard's notion of indirect (...) communication. However, this pushes the problem one step further: the main challange being to understand why indirect communication should be expected to have a positive moral import. (shrink)
Part I of this article advances a new theory of humor, the Enlightenment Theory, while contrasting it with other main theories, including the Incongruity, Repression/Relief/Release, and Superiority Theories. The Enlightenment Theory does not contradict these other theories but rather subsumes them. As argued, each of the other theories cannot account for all the aspects of humor explained by the Enlightenment Theory. The discussion is illustrated with examples of humor and explores the acts and circumstances of humor, (...) its literary and artistic expressions, and its physical reactions. Part II shows how the Enlightenment Theory meets challenging issues in humor theory where other theories sometimes falter, including issues such as failed humor, motivation for humor, tickling, laughing gas, and sadistic humor. Also mentioned are literary and musical humor and the relationship of wit to humor. (shrink)
Howard Curzer argues that Aristotle’s virtue of wit is a social virtue, a form of philia: conversation with a witty person is pleasing rather than offensive or hateful. On the basis of an analogy between wit and temperance, Curzer holds that the witty person is good at detecting hateful humor but is not necessarily an expert in judging the funniness of jokes. Curzer thus defends a moderate position in contemporary philosophy of humor—a Detraction Account of hateful humor—arguing (...) that the humorousness of a joke is an aggregate pleasure resulting from several factors in addition to funniness. While sympathetic to Curzer’s overall approach to wit, this essay criticizes the Detraction Account as inconsistent with Aristotle’s text and implausible in its own right, and suggests a friendly amendment based on those criticisms. (shrink)
Los estudios clásicos sobre el humor identifican una interrelación estrecha entre humor y angustia. En la serie narrativa Papelucho, esta interacción es constante en la trama de las distintas novelas. Este trabajo describe la interacción entre humor y angustia que se da en la obra y reflexiona sobre su sentido. Se concluye que la serie propone el humor como estrategia para enfrentar los hechos angustiantes ineludibles en la vida.
La caricatura de Garzón, que aparece en el periódico El Espectador con el título de Cartones, es una caricatura filosófica, un dibujo del alma humana, en contraste con la de su contemporáneo Osuna que es la clásica caricatura política. Garzón prescinde, en general, de las palabras y critica con humor seco la insensatez. Adopta en sus dibujos del alma una posición ética que repudia el espíritu mercantil de nuestra época. El hombrecillo protagonista de sus dibujos recuerda los hombres grises, (...) creados por Michael Ende, en su novela Momo. En el maletín los hombrecillos de Garzón llevan el tiempo, pero también, como en una caja de Pandora, portan muchos otros de los pseudovalores que los humanos empleamos para autodestruirnos. Sin embargo, en ese mismo maletín muchos hombres llevan la esperanza. La obra de Garzón nos plantea tres desafíos: (I) el problema de la percepción, con la cual vemos y oímos solamente lo que podemos y queremos ver y oir, poniendo en jaque la objetividad; (II) el problema del lenguaje, que resuelve dejando el texto implícito, como Nicolás Gómez Dávila, invitándonos a escribir nuestros propios escolios; (III) el problema del instante y de nuestra inevitable relación con el tiempo, cuyo planteamiento nos deja entrever jirones de Heidegger y de Ende, cuando él dice, al comentar su propia obra que “conocemos desde donde estamos”. Garzón, de muchos de sus Cartones, ha hecho grabados, duplicando en esta forma la energía creadora de su obra periodística, dándose y dándonos un placer estético redoblado con genial generosidad. (shrink)
This book offers an analysis of humor, comedy, and laughter as philosophical topics in the 19th Century. It traces the introduction of humor as a new aesthetic category inspired by Laurence Sterne’s "Tristram Shandy" and shows Sterne’s deep influence on German aesthetic theorists of this period. Through differentiating humor from comedy, the book suggests important distinctions within the aesthetic philosophies of G.W.F. Hegel, Karl Solger, and Jean Paul Richter. The book links Kant’s underdeveloped incongruity theory of laughter (...) to Schopenhauer’s more complete account and identifies humor’s place in the pessimistic philosophy of Julius Bahnsen. It considers how caricature functioned at the intersection of politics, aesthetics, and ethics in Karl Rosenkranz’s work, and how Kierkegaard and Nietzsche made humor central not only to their philosophical content but also to its style. The book concludes with an explication of French philosopher Henri Bergson’s claim that laughter is a response to mechanical inelasticity. (shrink)
Humour is a funny thing. Everyone knows what humour is but no-one knows exactly how it works. This book addresses the question 'What is humour?' -/- Consulting a dictionary on this question reveals an uninformative circle of definitions that goes from 'humour', to 'amusement', to 'funny' and back to 'humour'. Hence the book starts by untangling this circle of definitions to avoid being tied in conceptual knots. The remainder of the book is then free to lucidly provide a new theory (...) of humour which draws on cutting-edge research in psychology, linguistics and neuroscience. -/- Humour is important to people and so then are philosophical questions about humour. This book provides an understanding of what our sense of humour reveals about us and elucidates joking matters from the dinner table to the comedy club. (shrink)
Humorous laughter is related to the sublime experience in that it involves the transformation of a potentially unpleasant perception into a pleasurable experience. However, whereas sublimity is associated with feelings of awe and respect, humorous laughter is associated with feelings of superiority and contempt. This difference is a result of the fact that sublimity is an affective response involving an individual’s perception of vulnerability while humorous laughter is a response involving perceived invulnerability.