Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Laughing matters
by Moore, Matthew, M.A., The University of Mississippi, 2013, 51; 1540534
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis defends a weak version of the superiority theory of humor: the superiority theory explains some instances of humor better than the incongruity theory. This thesis features an overview of the philosophy of humor in ancient, modern, and contemporary philosophy; this section contains criticisms of the incongruity theory. Connections between the superiority theory and humor about death are explored. Parallels are then drawn between this type of humor and Aristotle's great-souled man. A new type of laughter, jubilant laughter, is subsequently identified as being similar to laughter classified under the superiority theory since both exhibit a triumphant quality. But there is an important difference between the two: humor classified under the superiority theory involves a comparison with others while jubilant laughter does not. Finally, the implications of the superiority theory on the ethics of humor are examined, and ethical norms are adapted from Aristotle's account of the great-souled man.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Westmoreland, Robert B.
Commitee: Skultety, Steven C., Yenter, Timothy P.
School: The University of Mississippi
Department: Philosophy
School Location: United States -- Mississippi
Source: MAI 52/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Philosophy, Aesthetics
Keywords: Death, Incongruity theory, Jubilant laughter, Philosophy of humor, Superiority theory
Publication Number: 1540534
ISBN: 9781303194436
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