Poignant Quotes: The oldest, and probably still most widespread theory of laughter is that laughter is an expression of a persons feelings of superiority over other people. Nothing produces laughter more than a surprising disproportion between that which one expects and that which one sees. Pascal one way for a speaker to get a laugh is to set up a certain expectation in his This is the first book I have read that analyzes laughter, and I enjoyed the insights that the author brought to the table. Many discussions of prohibitions leading to laughter cite traditional societal prohibitions against sex and violence.
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Poignant Quotes: The oldest, and probably still most widespread theory of laughter is that laughter is an expression of a persons feelings of superiority over other people. Nothing produces laughter more than a surprising disproportion between that which one expects and that which one sees.
Pascal one way for a speaker to get a laugh is to set up a certain expectation in his This is the first book I have read that analyzes laughter, and I enjoyed the insights that the author brought to the table. Many discussions of prohibitions leading to laughter cite traditional societal prohibitions against sex and violence.
All cultures forbid some activities connected with sex. Many forbid intercourse outside of marriage, for example, and most have restrictions on when sex can even be talked about. Such restrictions cause people to suppress their sexual desires, according to the relief theory, and so when someone, say a comedian, breaks the taboo and talks about sex, forbidden sexual thoughts are called up and some of the sexual energy which has been repressed is released in laughter.
There is an interesting connection here between what we find humorous or funny, and what we find to be fun. What makes an activity fun is not just that it is pleasant eating familiar food is often pleasant yet not fun , but that it has an element of surprise for us. Children have a great capacity for having fun doing even simple things, because so much of the world is unfamiliar to them.
Adults often play games to have fun; and a game with lots of turns of action is more fun — even for the eventual winner — than one in which it is clear from the start who is going to win.
Activities stop being fun for us when there are no longer any surprises, when they have become so familiar to us that what happens next is predictable. Many people have the most fun doing something like skiing or sailing before they get really good at it; complete mastery of a skill, paradoxically, can take a good share of the fun out of it.
People who have a positive self-concept and a confident view of themselves as masters of their own fate laugh and enjoy humor more than those who do not feel in control. Grice - Guidelines for conversation: 1. Make your contribution as informative as is required for the current purposes of the exchange. Do not make your contribution more informative than is required. Do not say what you believe to be false. Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence. Avoid obscurity of expression 6.
Avoid ambiguity 7. Be brief 8. Be orderly The first [principle of comic technique:] is that in order to bring about the shift in humor, the person creating the humor must engage the interest of those he wants to amuse, and thus have some control over their train of thought.
The third and last principle of comic technique I want to mention here is the necessity of originality and freshness. If the audience is to experience a mental shift, they must be caught off guard with something that they cannot smoothly assimilate. The job of the humorist, then, is a challenging one. He or she must have a solid grasp of reality in its manifold patterns, and at the same time be constantly looking at things from new and unusual perspectives. Aesthetic experience generally is important in our lives.
We need to be able to stop occasionally amid the practical stream of everyday living to simply enjoy attending to things and situations we perceive or imagine.
The reason why many teachers do not have any humor in their teaching, and indeed fear humor when it comes from their students, is that their own view of the world is relatively humorless. They do not try to cultivate playfulness or even imagination in their students because their own attitudes toward things are neither playful nor imaginative, and so in their teaching they project a one-dimensional attitude which tells students that education, and life in general, is a serious business, consisting essentially and solved as straightforwardly as possible.
Is it any wonder that under the tutelage of such teachers, children who come to school at age five with imagination, playfulness, and curiosity, have lost these qualities — at least in the classroom — within a year or two? The person with a sense of humor can never be fully dominated, even b a government which imprisons him, for his ability to laugh at what is incongruous in the political situation will put him above it to some extent, and will preserve a measure of his freedom… But we all need the occasional bout of irrationality and even silliness.
As we saw earlier, someone with a sense of humor is more imaginative and flexible in his general outlook, and so is less likely to get obsessed with any particular issue or approach to an issue.
Such a person will be more open to suggestions from others, and so will be more approachable. The fact that a sense of humor keeps one from getting too self-centered or defensive about his ego helps in this regard. While the serious person tends to be solemn and anxious about how things are going to turn out, the person with a rich sense of humor tends to be more relaxed, less disappointed by failure, and in general more cheerful. Application: Know God Love people Become like Christ — be serious about what I should be serious about and be humorous about what I should be humorous about!
Taking Laughter Seriously
That is still true. Morreall has done an admirable job of analyzing earlier theories. His discussions of humor as aesthetic experience, social lubricant, and valuable human feature are original and provocative. Goldstein, Professor of Psychology, Temple University "The attempt at providing a theoretical framework which will include all forms of laughter and humor and will accommodate the main types of theories previously advanced, is the principal thrust and success ofTaking Laughter Seriously. The topic is important and is one which philosophers have tended to ignore, as have most disciplines. It needs periodic philosophical reflection. The book is clearly written, well organized, and well illustrated.