The philosophy of humour (Philosophy Insights)

January 25, 2020 - Comment

Comic novelist and critic Paul McDonald explores the philosophy of humour in a book that will appeal to philosophers and creative writers alike. One aim of this book is to assess theories of humour and laughter. It concentrates mainly on philosophical approaches to humour- including those of Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Descartes, Hobbes, Bergson, Kant, Schopenhauer,

Comic novelist and critic Paul McDonald explores the philosophy of humour in a book that will appeal to philosophers and creative writers alike. One aim of this book is to assess theories of humour and laughter. It concentrates mainly on philosophical approaches to humour- including those of Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Descartes, Hobbes, Bergson, Kant, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Freud and Bakhtin, but also explores such fields as cultural studies, literary theory, religion, psychoanalysis, and psychology; this broad focus makes for a richer account of humour, its relationship with philosophical thought, and its bearing on the human condition. Readers are invited to engage in creative writing exercises designed to exploit this crucial facet of humour, and to help them explore relevant issues imaginatively. In this way they will deepen their understanding of those issues, whilst at the same time cultivating their own creative skills.

Comments

Anonymous says:

Highly recommended for both philosophers and creative writers. This book covers all of the key humour theories, and also has sections on under-explored humour scholarship from the likes of John McClure, Helene Cixous and Susan Purdie. There are lots of good jokes, all of them perceptively analysed. I particularly liked the chapter on whether we should feel guilty for telling jokes about Walsall people being stupid (my feeling is no). The style is accessible, and the book contains very useful creative writing exercises designed partly to help readers think…

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