Category Archives: Abstracts

Daniel Dennett: “Reverse Engineering the Funny Bone”

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John Morreall: “It’s a Funny Thing, Humor”

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Thomas Brommage: “An Inferential Analysis of Offensive Humor”

Last summer, comedian Daniel Tosh was widely criticized for telling an inopportune rape joke targeting a female heckler in the audience. Offensive humor – whether ‘blue’ material, Friars’ Club roasts, or racial and ethnic humor – is significantly different than … Continue reading

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Martin Donougho: “Comedic System – Or why ‘the philosopher’ seems ridiculous”

“It is equally fatal…to have a system and to have none: one must therefore embrace both.” (Fr. Schlegel) I propose a paper on how comedic art distinguishes itself from—hence relates to—its matter (comic events, situations, characters).  I draw on three … Continue reading

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Christopher Gontar: “The Falsity of Hurley’s False-Belief Theory of Humor”

Matthew Hurley has advanced the most extensive global “false belief” theory of humor. He attempts to put this kind of humor theory on firm ground and gives the appearance of diligent self-criticism. Yet the basis or stimulus of humor is … Continue reading

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Whitley Kaufman: “Does Evolution Have A Sense of Humor?”

Hurley, Dennett, and Adams in their new book Inside Jokes present a theory of humor based on evolutionary psychology, claiming to finally reveal the underlying structure of all humor.  They propose that humor is an evolutionary device for “debugging” our … Continue reading

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Eva Kort: “A Loving Life: ‘Humor’ and a Suggestion for an Ethics of Mirth”

In this paper, I look behind the scary mask that humor can wear to consider humor’s brighter side.    In doing so, I focus on mirth and its ethical implications.  The discussion proceeds as follows:  (1) I begin with a discussion … Continue reading

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Christopher Lauer: “Laughter and Intimacy in the Evolution of Humor”

In The Concept of Irony, Kierkegaard places humor on the boundary (confinium) between ethical and religious life, one dialectical stage higher than irony, which stands on the boundary between aesthetic and ethical life.  Like irony, humor is for Kierkegaard only … Continue reading

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Lauren Olin: “Comic Disagreement”

Comic judgments, like moral and epistemic judgments, are normative. While normative disagreement has received much attention in moral and epistemic domains, comic disagreement has been neglected. This paper argues that there exists substantial overlap between the human capacity for comic … Continue reading

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Christelle Paré: “Francophone Comedy in Quebec: Tradition or Invasion”

The Province of Quebec is an interesting ground for research in humor and comedy. Historically, it has a long tradition in telling hilarious stories. Nowadays, it hosts not only the biggest comedy festival on the planet (Juste pout rire–Just for … Continue reading

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