Back when director Edgar Wright and myself were writing our debut feature, Shaun Of The Dead, we were certainly banking on a comic universality in the story of a suburban waster battling the living dead.
Philosophers are concerned with what is important in life, so two things are surprising about what they have said about humor. The first is how little they have said. From ancient times to the 20th century, the most that any notable philosopher wrote about laughter or humor was an essay, and only a few lesser-known thinkers such as Frances Hutcheson and James Beattie wrote that much.
The word humor was not used in its current sense of funniness until the 18th century, we should note, and so traditional discussions were about laughter or comedy. The most that major philosophers like Plato, Hobbes, and Kant wrote about laughter or humor was a few paragraphs within a discussion of another topic.
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. In Philebus 48—50he analyzes the enjoyment of comedy as a form of scorn. In laughing at them, we take delight in something evil—their self-ignorance—and that malice is morally objectionable.
Because of these objections to laughter and humor, Plato says that in the ideal state, comedy should be tightly controlled. No free person, whether woman or man, shall be found taking lessons in them.
Greek thinkers after Plato had similarly negative comments about laughter and humor. Though Aristotle considered wit a valuable part of conversation Nicomachean Ethics 4, 8he agreed with Plato that laughter expresses scorn.
Wit, he says in the Rhetoric 2, 12is educated insolence. These objections to laughter and humor influenced early Christian thinkers, and through them later European culture. They were reinforced by negative representations of laughter and humor in the Bible, the vast majority of which are linked to hostility.
The only way God is described as laughing in the Bible is with hostility: The kings of the earth stand ready, and the rulers conspire together against the Lord and his anointed king…. The Lord who sits enthroned in heaven laughs them to scorn; then he rebukes them in anger, he threatens them in his wrath Psalm 2: In the Bible, mockery is so offensive that it may deserve death, as when a group of children laugh at the prophet Elisha for his baldness: Sometimes what they criticized was laughter in which the person loses self-control.
Other times they linked laughter with idleness, irresponsibility, lust, or anger.
John Chrysostom, for example, warned that Laughter often gives birth to foul discourse, and foul discourse to actions still more foul. Often from words and laughter proceed railing and insult; and from railing and insult, blows and wounds; and from blows and wounds, slaughter and murder.
If, then, you would take good counsel for yourself, avoid not merely foul words and foul deeds, or blows and wounds and murders, but unseasonable laughter itself in Schaff Not surprisingly, the Christian institution that most emphasized self-control—the monastery—was harsh in condemning laughter.
One of the earliest monastic orders, of Pachom of Egypt, forbade joking Adkin— The Rule of St. The monastery of St. Columbanus Hibernus had these punishments: The Christian European rejection of laughter and humor continued through the Middle Ages, and whatever the Reformers reformed, it did not include the traditional assessment of humor.
Among the strongest condemnations came from the Puritans, who wrote tracts against laughter and comedy.Humour, Irony and Satire in Literature 69 A writer may point a satire toward a person, a country or even the entire world. Usually, a satire is a comical piece of writing which makes fun of an individual or a society to expose its stupidity and shortcomings.
the elements of sense of humor and has pointed to the failures in various attempts to (SD = ), a difference that was not statistically significant when tested with analysis of variance (F). Sense of humor and dimensions of personality. Positive and negative aspects of sense of humor: Associations with the constructs of individualism and relatedness positive and negative elements.
The primary sense of humor dimension. American humor refers collectively to the conventions and common threads that tie together humor in the United States.
It is often defined in comparison to the humor of another country – for example, how it is different from British humour and Canadian humour. It's not so much about having a different sense of humour as a different approach to life. More demonstrative than we are, Americans are not embarrassed by their emotions.
The British and. 1. Humor’s Bad Reputation. When people are asked what’s important in their lives, they often mention humor. Couples listing the traits they prize in their spouses usually put “sense of .