A Comedy of Errors or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Sensibility‐Invariantism about ‘Funny’

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (4):493-522 (2012)
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In this article, I argue that sensibility‐invariantism about ‘funny’ is defensible, not just as a descriptive hypothesis, but, as a normative position as well. What I aim to do is to make the realist commitments of the sensibility‐invariantist out to be much more tenable than one might initially think them to be. I do so by addressing the two major sources of discontent with sensibility‐invariantism: the observation that discourse about comedy exhibits significant divergence in judgment, and the fact that disagreements about comedy, unlike disagreements about, say, geography, often strike us as fundamentally intractable.

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Ryan Doerfler
University of Chicago


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