Laughter and Literature: A Play Theory of Humor

@article{Boyd2004LaughterAL,
  title={Laughter and Literature: A Play Theory of Humor},
  author={Brian Boyd},
  journal={Philosophy and Literature},
  year={2004},
  volume={28},
  pages={1 - 22}
}
  • Brian Boyd
  • Published 12 May 2004
  • Art
  • Philosophy and Literature
Humor seems uniquely human, but it has deep biological roots. Laughter, the best evidence suggests, derives from the ritualized breathing and open-mouth display common in animal play. Play evolved as training for the unexpected, in creatures putting themselves at risk of losing balance or dominance so that they learn to recover. Humor in turn involves play with the expectations we share-whether innate or acquired-in order to catch one another off guard in ways that simulate risk and stimulate… 

It’s a Funny Thing, Humor

  • J. Morreall
  • Psychology
    The Philosophy of Humor Yearbook
  • 2020
Abstract This article reflects on the oddness of humor and laughter as human behaviors. It argues against classifying humorous amusement as an emotion by contrasting amusement with standard emotions.

Humor as Cognitive Play

This article assesses three traditional theories of laughter and humor: the Superiority Theory, the Relief Theory, and the Incongruity Theory. Then, taking insights from those theories, it presents a

Commentary piece Reflexive humour and satire: a critical review

Because most theories of humour emphasize its intersubjective and/or semantic nature, they fail to fully appreciate and explain self-directed humour. Through a critical exploration of the

Humor and Enlightenment, Part II: The Theory Applied

Part I of this article advanced a new theory of humor, the Enlightenment Theory, while contrasting it with other main theories, including the Incongruity, Repression/Relief/Release, and Superiority

Philosophy of Humor

Humor is a surprisingly understudied topic in philosophy. However, there has been a flurry of interest in the subject over the past few decades. This article outlines the major theories of humor. It

Humor as interactional affordances: an ecological perspective on humor in social interaction

Abstract In adopting new theoretical advancements within linguistics and ecological psychology, this paper investigates humor from an ecological perspective in naturally occurring social interaction.

Toward a Theoretical Framework for the Study of Humor in Literature and the Other Arts

With a clearer understanding of the way humor works, we might be better able to give it the attention it deserves when we study and teach the arts. But where do we turn to find a theoretical

Young Children’s Play and Humor Development: A Close Theoretical Partnership

  • D. Bergen
  • Psychology
    Educating the Young Child
  • 2019
Play and humor have strong theoretical and conceptual links, in that both are enjoyable, reality bending, cognitively rich, internally motivated and controlled, and facilitated by social interaction.

Criminals at play: Oedipus, Rope, and Telltale’s The Walking Dead

ABSTRACT This article investigates three storytelling arts as spaces of narrative play: theatre, film and narrative-based gaming. It traces the lineage from Oedipus Rex and early tragic theatre to

Simple vs. Complex Nature of Humor and Laughter in Finnish-Chinese Negotiations

  • Sociology
  • 2016
This paper explores humor and laughter as sites of search for common ground and power positioning in the context of Finnish-Chinese co-operation. It is mainly based on the data obtained by
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 89 REFERENCES

The Game of Humor: A Comprehensive Theory of Why We Laugh

Humor, wit, and laughter surround each person. From everyday quips to the carefully contrived comedy of literature, newspapers, and television we experience humor in many forms, yet the impetus for

Minding Animals: Awareness, Emotions, and Heart

In Minding Animals, Marc Bekoff takes us on an exhilarating tour of the emotional and mental world of animals, where we meet creatures who do amazing things and whose lives are filled with mysteries.

Laughter: A Scientific Investigation

Robert Provine argues in this book that laughter is mostly about relationships, not jokes; that women laugh more at men than vice versa; that speakers laugh more than their audiences; that tickling

The Ambiguity of Play

Every child knows what it means to play, but the rest of us can merely speculate. Is it a kind of adaptation, teaching us skills, inducting us into certain communities? Is it power, pursued in games

Mammalian Play: Training for the Unexpected

TLDR
The "training for the unexpected" hypothesis can account for some previously puzzling kinematic, structural, motivational, emotional, cognitive, social, ontogenetic, and phylogenetic aspects of play and may also account for a diversity of individual methods for coping with unexpected misfortunes.

Play In Animals And Humans

This book is about play behaviour: what it is, what it is for, how we decribe and study it, how it evolved. The last ten years or so have seen a great burgeoning of interest in these questions among

On Humor: Its Nature and Its Place in Modern Society

Acknowledgements Introduction 1. The Humorous Mode 2. Serious Discourse and the Duality of Humour 3. Semantics and Signals 4. Informal Humour 5. Putting Humour to Work 6. Laughter as Social Action 7.

Does play matter? Functional and evolutionary aspects of animal and human play

Abstract In this paper I suggest that play is a distinctive behavioural category whose adaptive significance calls for explanation. Play primarily affords juveniles practice toward the exercise of

Children in play, story, and school

Part I: Introduction. Goncu, Klein, Children in Play, Story, and School: A Tribute to Greta G. Fein. Part II: Children In Play. Sawyer, Play as Improvisational Rehearsal: Multiple Levels of Analysis

Animal social complexity : intelligence, culture, and individualized societies

For over 25 years, primatologists have speculated that intelligence, at least in monkeys and apes, evolved as an adaptation to the complicated social milieu of hard-won friendships and bitterly
...