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CUT TO THE CHEESE – REPLY TO SPIEGEL'S ‘WHY FLATULENCE IS FUNNY’

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 January 2017

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Abstract

In number 35 of Think, James Spiegel presents reasons for why flatulence is funny. In this article I will address five issues that I find problematic in his account:

  1. (1) His claim that laughter always results from a pleasant psychological shift is false.

  2. (2) His argumentative move from what makes paradigm cases funny to what makes flatulence funny is unwarranted.

  3. (3) His notion of a psychological shift is not specific enough and lacks explanatory power.

  4. (4) The claim that funniness of flatulence involves superiority is doubtful.

  5. (5) His talk about ‘nervous energy’ is questionable and has implausible implications.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Royal Institute of Philosophy 2017 

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References

Bergson, Henri (1914) Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic (New York: Macmillan).Google Scholar
Critchley, Simon (2002) On Humour (London and New York: Routledge).Google Scholar
Hurley, R. A., Dennett, D. C., and Adams, R. B. Jr (2011) Inside Jokes (Cambridge MA and London: MIT Press).Google Scholar
Morreall, John (2009) Comic Relief: A Comprehensive Philosophy of Humor (Malden and Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ribeiro, Brian (2008) ‘A Distance Theory of Humour’, Think 6.17/18 (2008), 139–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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CUT TO THE CHEESE – REPLY TO SPIEGEL'S ‘WHY FLATULENCE IS FUNNY’
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CUT TO THE CHEESE – REPLY TO SPIEGEL'S ‘WHY FLATULENCE IS FUNNY’
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CUT TO THE CHEESE – REPLY TO SPIEGEL'S ‘WHY FLATULENCE IS FUNNY’
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