Laughter by Mary Beard

Mary Beard has written up a very stimulating and clear discussion of theories of laughter, which I encourage all readers to have a look at.  It does a nice job summarizing some of the main lines of thought on a tremendously difficult subject – one that, in my opinion, philosophers neglect all too often, especially given its historical significance as being considered an essential activity that differentiates humans from other animals.  I suspect that this is a case, however, in which Occam’s Razor doesn’t easily apply – attempts to reduce to a single overarching law of laughter are insufficient, but perhaps this is in part because the term ‘laughter’ lies somewhere between the general and the specific.  Would ‘humour’ work better, I wonder?

Click on this picture to follow the link to Mary Beard’s ‘What’s So Funny?’

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Filed under Ancient Philosophy, Classics General, Intellectual History

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