• Amity
    803
    I would like to talk about humour in philosophy. Seriously.

    However, I am betting this will be dispatched to the Lounge in the twitch of a lip. With a roll of the eyes, a raised eyebrow and a bored 'Really?' :roll: :brow: :yawn:

    A sense of humour helps make life bearable.
    Philosophy can play its part. But which philosopher is a joker or who has the most twisted, dark way of looking at the world. Dark humour works.

    I once told someone that reading Nietzsche made me feel depressed. He was astonished, responding to my angst with an 'Au contraire, he makes me laugh my socks off !'
    Really?
    Perhaps it depends on where you're at in the mood spectrum, your personality or your general view of the existentialists. And the notion of the absurd. Is philosophy itself absurd ?

    Anyway, if you wanna get the lowdown on the philosophy of humour, here comes Plato, who else ?

    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/humor/

    '..Martian anthropologists comparing the amount of philosophical writing on humor with what has been written on, say, justice, or even on Rawls’ Veil of Ignorance, might well conclude that humor could be left out of human life without much loss.

    The second surprising thing is how negative most philosophers have been in their assessments of humor. From ancient Greece until the 20th century, the vast majority of philosophical comments on laughter and humor focused on scornful or mocking laughter, or on laughter that overpowers people, rather than on comedy, wit, or joking. Plato, the most influential critic of laughter, treated it as an emotion that overrides rational self-control.'

    Plato wants state controlled comedy. Now that is interesting, given today's current authoritarian regimes and a would-be be dictator's lack of humour. Sad.

    Similar to Plato's negative outlook on humour:

    '...Though Aristotle considered wit a valuable part of conversation (Nicomachean Ethics 4, 8), he agreed with Plato that laughter expresses scorn. Wit, he says in the Rhetoric (2, 12), is educated insolence. In the Nicomachean Ethics (4, 8) he warns that “Most people enjoy amusement and jesting more than they should … a jest is a kind of mockery, and lawgivers forbid some kinds of mockery—perhaps they ought to have forbidden some kinds of jesting.” The Stoics, with their emphasis on self-control, agreed with Plato that laughter diminishes self-control. Epictetus’s Enchiridion (33) advises “Let not your laughter be loud, frequent, or unrestrained.” His followers said that he never laughed at all.'

    The Superiority Theory

    ...we have a sketchy psychological theory articulating the view of laughter that started in Plato and the Bible and dominated Western thinking about laughter for two millennia. In the 20thcentury, this idea was called the Superiority Theory. Simply put, our laughter expresses feelings of superiority over other people or over a former state of ourselves.'

    '...Remarkably few philosophers have even mentioned that humor is a kind of play, much less seen benefits in such play. Kant spoke of joking as “the play of thought,” though he saw no value in it beyond laughter’s stimulation of the internal organs...'

    In conclusion, most philosophers are humourless gits.
    If you want to lighten the load, if only for an instant, then don't read philosophy.
    Take in a cartoon:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/05/look-life-is-really-tough-even-when-it-isnt-youre-allowed-to-feel-shit

    Is your liver loving it ?
  • Luke
    533
    Philosophy is typically a serious subject. I don't think this necessarily implies or indicates that philosophers are humourless. But obviously they are gits.
  • Amity
    803
    Philosophy is typically a serious subject. I don't think this necessarily implies or indicates that philosophers are humourless. But obviously they are gits.Luke

    :smile:
    Yeah, I know.
    It's like saying philosophers are sexless gits because sex is not their chosen topic.
  • Luke
    533
    That's probably true, though. :grin:
  • Amity
    803
    That's probably true, though. :grin:Luke


    :grin: I couldn't possibly comment but...playing with Kant...

    'Remarkably few philosophers have even mentioned that humor sex is a kind of play, much less seen benefits in such play. Kant spoke of joking poking as “the fore play of thought,” though he saw no value in it beyond laughter's sensual stimulation of the internal external organs...'
  • Baden
    8.5k
    However, I am betting this will be dispatched to the Lounge in the twitch of a lip. With a roll of the eyes, a raised eyebrow and a bored 'Really?' :roll: :brow: :yawn:Amity

    In principle, the subject matter is fine as a serious philosophical topic. (Or a scientific one).
  • Amity
    803
    In principle, the subject matter is fine as a serious philosophical topic. (Or a scientific one).Baden

    Phew! So glad :cool: you're not mad :naughty:
    Talking of which...

    Mad magazine, a US institution famous for the grinning face of jug-eared, tiny-eyed mascot Alfred E Neuman, is to stop being a regular fixture of newsstands

    https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2019/jul/04/the-end-of-satire-mad-magazine-to-cease-regular-publication

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mad_(magazine)

    'In 1994, Brian Siano in The Humanist discussed the effect of Mad on that segment of people already disaffected from society:

    For the smarter kids of two generations, Mad was a revelation: it was the first to tell us that the toys we were being sold were garbage, our teachers were phonies, our leaders were fools, our religious counselors were hypocrites, and even our parents were lying to us about damn near everything. An entire generation had William Gaines for a godfather: this same generation later went on to give us the sexual revolution, the environmental movement, the peace movement, greater freedom in artistic expression, and a host of other goodies. Coincidence? You be the judge.[33]
    ...Pulitzer Prize-winning art comics maven Art Spiegelman said, "The message Mad had in general is, 'The media is lying to you, and we are part of the media.' It was basically ... 'Think for yourselves, kids.'" William Gaines offered his own view: when asked to cite Mad's philosophy, his boisterous answer was, "We must never stop reminding the reader what little value they get for their money!"

    'Think for yourselves, kids.' Love that philosophy. And ask the right questions.
    Also, I would add use humour wisely. Recognise both the positive and negative aspects of it.

    I never read 'Mad'. So I won't miss it.
    Is American humour so very different from British ? Is there such a thing as a national sense of humour ?
    Is there a change in appetite for political satire ? Has it lost its bite, its philosophical power to critically engage ?
    The message of madness is going, going,....
  • Amity
    803


    Hey, thanks for answering the deeply philosophical question of:
    'What is a git?'
    :nerd:
  • Terrapin Station
    13.4k
    Mad magazine, a US institution famous for the grinning face of jug-eared, tiny-eyed mascot Alfred E Neuman, is to stop being a regular fixture of newsstandsAmity

    Yeah, I was bummed out hearing that.

    On the other hand, I hadn't bought Mad regularly for quite some time, so I was part of the problem. Although in my case, it's primarily because I didn't run across it in stores very often--although that's partially my fault, too, as I probably could have found a store that regularly carried it and made sure that I visited. But also for whatever reasons, I have ridiculous problems with trying to receive magazines via subscription in the mail. I've tried to subscribe to various things, and in all cases, at least living where I live, I'd be lucky to even get 20% of the issues for a year. So I don't bother subscribing to anything because it's pretty pointless and frustrating.

    I was also a fan of Cracked when it was simply a knockoff of Mad magazine. But obviously Cracked died over ten years ago now and the owners turned it into that click-baity/not-very-funny website instead.
  • Amity
    803
    Yeah, I was bummed out hearing that.Terrapin Station

    Never mind, there's always the weekly digest of an anxious depressive John Crace...

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jul/05/at-62-my-life-still-seems-like-a-terrifying-adventure-with-no-instruction-manual
  • Marchesk
    2.8k


    With all due respect to Alex and Coco, there’s sometimes something to be said for getting your disappointments in early. — John Crace

    I love that statement! Maybe I'm just a lazy underachiever, but life's early disappointments certainly temper one's expectations a bit.
  • Amity
    803
    With all due respect to Alex and Coco, there’s sometimes something to be said for getting your disappointments in early.
    — John Crace

    I love that statement! Maybe I'm just a lazy underachiever, but life's early disappointments certainly temper one's expectations a bit.
    Marchesk

    To be honest, I didn't get or appreciate that final sentence of Monday's digest.
    Crace started off well with:

    'It’s been a good few days for 15-year-olds. First we had Alex Mann wowing Glastonbury as he rapped on stage with Dave. Then we had Coco Gauffdefeating Venus Williams, a winner of seven grand slam titles, in the first round of Wimbledon. I’m slightly in awe but can’t help wondering where they developed the talent, the confidence and the determination. When I was their age I hadn’t a clue about anything very much and could barely look other people in they eye when talking to them...'

    The ending seems a bit warped...
    Is he saying they are missing out in not enjoying failure ? Because that is what feeds us...?
    Guess I am not in tune with his wit...
    Or does he mean that enjoying success so early - It's not such a great thing ?
  • Theologian
    160

    Proposition: Philosophers are humourless gits

    Well, the "Snakes don't have legs and the reason for this OP" thread did get deleted... :sad:
  • Theologian
    160
    A man walks into a forum and says:

    "God is love."

    :lol:
  • Amity
    803
    A man walks into a forum and says:

    "God is love."

    :lol:
    Theologian

    You what ? :chin:

    Did you read the cartoon I linked to earlier.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/05/look-life-is-really-tough-even-when-it-isnt-youre-allowed-to-feel-shit

    I enjoyed Dog's final burble:

    'Regardless of how today turned out you did the best that you could, and you can't do any more than that.
    Also I love you.'

    Dog is Love.
  • Amity
    803
    Proposition: Philosophers are humourless gits

    Well, the "Snakes don't have legs and the reason for this OP" thread did get deleted... :sad:
    Theologian

    Oh dear. I missed that one :sad:
  • Theologian
    160

    It was awesome. Fully of snakes and lizards and women with small vaginas.

    Also, I promised to pray for someone (coughs @christian2017). But it was not appreciated, and I was politely asked not to.
  • Theologian
    160

    Dog is indeed love.

    But God?

    Now that is a joke...
  • Amity
    803
    It was awesome. Fully of snakes and lizards and women with small vaginas.

    Also, I promised to pray for someone (coughs christian2017). But it was not appreciated, and I was politely asked not to.
    Theologian

    Ah OK. So not funny and not up to the forum's philosophical standards. Understood.
    Your objection fails. Funny that.
  • Theologian
    160

    Maybe you just had to be there. Of course, now you can't. Ever.
  • Marchesk
    2.8k
    The ending seems a bit warped...
    Is he saying they are missing out in not enjoying failure ? Because that is what feeds us...?
    Guess I am not in tune with his wit...
    Or does he mean that enjoying success so early - It's not such a great thing ?
    Amity

    I think he's saying that for most of us, we learn not to expect too much from life, but a 15 year old having amazing success might have different expectations. Which may not be how life turns out, because often there are disappointments, tragedies, and failures.

    That being said, I would take the success at 15, if I could have been that good at something.
  • Theologian
    160

    As a kind of holy relic, I saved the OP from Google cache:

    The reason for this OP is to provide the concept that perhaps an extraterrestial (Babylonian religion)
    induced some of the evolutionary changes in creatures on this earth.

    This is not a christian OP but a general "higher" power OP.

    Snakes have been shown by scientists to have evolved from lizards. Some snakes have nubs (pythons) where their ancestors had legs. Why evolve and have your ancestors have less physical capabilities. Mammals are not tremendously less physically capable then dinosaurs but a snake is tremendously less capable then a lizard. All things held equal, i want my descendants to be more capable not less capable. We don't always get what we want. lol.

    Human women have really small vaginas and child birth is far harder for a women than just about any other animal. Bugs very often die after procreating but the bugs advantage is they don't over think life like humans do. Over thinking leads to depression.

    I do believe in evolution and it doesn't contradict my favorite holy book. And know, no, a careful analysis would reveal i'm not trolling.
  • fdrake
    2.7k
    In Steven Soderbergh’s science fiction film Solaris the replicant Snow, a replacement of one of the original surviving crew members of the space station orbiting the planet Sola-ris, has a rather interesting philosophical in-sight regarding the nature of women:

    «Cos I’m thinking … women, right? Right now we got woman and woman, right? If we get
    women, you know, together on the same team and all that shit, what happens? You know what happens. All kinds of shit you can’t explain happens. Like the … But good shit, you know? Mysterious, but good. Usu-ally very good. Things get solved, you know?»

    I do not know whether or not Lieu-tenant Snow obtained the idea from C. D.Broad’s seminal
    Mind and Its Place in Nature, but the basic idea seems to be about the same:

    <<Put in abstract terms the emergent theory asserts that there are certain wholes, com-posed (say) of constituents A, B and C in re-lation R to each other; that all wholes com-posed of constituents of the same kind as A,B and C in relations of the same kind as R have certain characteristic properties; that A, B and C are capable of occurring in other kinds of complex where the relation is not of the same kind as R; and that the characteristic properties of the whole R(A, B, C) cannot even in theory, be deduced from the most complete knowledge of the properties of A, B and C in isolation or in other wholes which are not of the form R(A, B, C).>>

    It may perhaps be wrong to believe that Broad thought that the ‘mysterious powers’of women are in fact emergent properties, but Lieutenant Snow nicely expresses the guiding intuition behind emergentism – in some contexts, the structural relationships between parts in a whole in conjunction with the properties of the parts give rise to novel, perhaps surprising or even mysterious, features of wholes.
    — Ronny Selbæk Myhre, Naturalism and the Metaphysics of Emergence
  • Amity
    803
    I think he's saying that for most of us, we learn not to expect too much from life, but a 15 year old having amazing success might have different expectations. Which may not be how life turns out, because often there are disappointments, tragedies, and failures.Marchesk

    Yes. I think you are right. They are exceptional.
    How many of us, as he says, develop talent, the confidence and the determination so early?
    I think some people know exactly what they, or their parents, want from life - and seem to achieve their aims and goals with hard work, willpower, resilience...call it what you will.
    This process is not easy - and I am sure they have their own relative disappointments of which we do not hear. We've all heard the stories of child actors...who grew up...

    It just sounded a bit like sour grapes or pouring cold water on enjoyment...he does write just before that he was ' writing this on [his] laptop holed up in [his] bedroom as nowhere else feels quite as safe today'

    Do you think there is a certain kind of humour which can only germinate or grow in misery ?
  • Amity
    803


    Whoosh :gasp:
  • Amity
    803

    That's another Whooosh :gasp:
  • fdrake
    2.7k


    I was reacting to your claim that philosophers are humourless gits, by providing an example of a pretty good extended joke in a philosophy paper. While it isn't about the philosophy of humour, it's definitely humorous philosophy.

    And no, I won't write the post as a joke. :razz:
  • Amity
    803
    And no, I won't write the post as a joke. :razz:fdrake

    Not even if I say 'Pretty Please !' and buy you a drink :party:
  • fdrake
    2.7k


    Beer is please in the language of beer.
  • Amity
    803
    Beer is please in the language of beer.fdrake

    Beer, beer, beer !!!
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