No Hugging, No Learning: The Limitations of Humour

British Journal of Aesthetics 57 (1):51-66 (2017)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
I claim that the significance of comic works to influence our attitudes is limited by the conditions under which we find things funny. I argue that we can only find something funny if we regard it as norm-violating in a way that doesn’t make certain cognitive or pragmatic demands upon us. It is compatible with these conditions that humour reinforces our attitude that something is norm-violating. However, it is not compatible with these conditions that, on the basis of finding it funny, we come to reject some existing attitude. Such a rejection would require that we recognize our attitude as norm-violating in a way that has pragmatic force. Thus if a humorous work reveals the absurdity of something, we can either find it funny and not have our attitudes significantly influenced, or else be significantly influenced but not find it funny.
(categorize this paper)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Upload history
First archival date: 2019-10-19
Latest version: 2 (2019-10-19)
View other versions
Added to PP index

Total views
131 ( #37,483 of 2,439,697 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
23 ( #29,864 of 2,439,697 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.