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Chris A. Kramer [13]Chris Kramer [2]
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Chris A. Kramer
Santa Barbara City College
Chris Kramer
Marquette University
  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.  67
    The Philosophy of Humor: What makes Something Funny.Chris A. Kramer - 2022 - 1000-Word Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology.
    People can laugh at almost anything. What’s the deal with that? What makes something funny? -/- This essay reviews some theories of what it is for something to be funny. Each theory offers insights into this question, but no single approach provides a comprehensive answer.
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  3. 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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  4.  19
    Is Laughing at Morally Oppressive Jokes Like Being Disgusted by Phony Dog Feces? An Analysis of Belief and Alief in the Context of Questionable Humor.Chris A. Kramer - 2022 - The Philosophy of Humor Yearbook 3 (1):179-207.
    In two very influential papers from 2008, Tamar Gendler introduced the concept of “alief” to describe the mental state one is in when acting in ways contrary to their consciously professed beliefs. For example, if asked to eat what they know is fudge, but shaped into the form of dog feces, they will hesitate, and behave in a manner that would be consistent with the belief that the fudge is really poop. They alieve that it is disgusting, while they believe (...)
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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. Parrhesia, Humor, and Resistance.Chris Kramer - 2020 - Israeli Journal of Humor Research 9 (1):22-46.
    This paper begins by taking seriously former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass’ response in his What to the Slave is the Fourth of July? to systematic violence and oppression. He claims that direct argumentation is not the ideal mode of resistance to oppression: “At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed.” I will focus on a few elements of this playful mode of resistance that conflict with the more straightforward strivings for abstract, universal, objective, convergent, absolute (...)
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  11. 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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  12. Moral Imaginative Resistance to Heaven: Why the Problem of Evil is So Intractable.Chris Kramer - 2018 - de Ethica: Journal of Philosophical, Theological and Applied Ethics 1 (5):51-67.
    The majority of philosophers of religion, at least since Plantinga’s reply to Mackie’s logical problem of evil, agree that it is logically possible for an omnibenevolent, omniscient, and omnipotent God to exist who permits some of the evils we see in the actual world. This is conceivable essentially because of the possible world known as heaven. That is, heaven is an imaginable world in a similar way that logically possible scenarios in any fiction are imaginable. However, like some of the (...)
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  13.  39
    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. Curious Academic Publishing. 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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  14.  80
    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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  15.  10
    Which Direction Do We Punch: The Powers and Perils of Humour Against the New Conspiracism.Chris A. Kramer - 2023 - In Rashi Bhargava & Richa Chilana (eds.), Punching Up in Stand-Up Comedy. London, UK: pp. 235-254.
    This chapter will evaluate humor used with the specific intent to reveal glaring epistemic errors that lead to injustice; flaws in reasoning so transparent that straightforward logic, argument, and evidence seem ineffectual against them, and in some cases, just silly to think such tools would be needed. Laughter seems to be one of the only sane responses. In particular, I will assess how humor can combat conspiracy theories, propaganda, lies, and bullshit. The last one I view in Harry Frankfurt's sense (...)
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