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MORREALL Comic Relief. a Comprehensive Philosophy of Humor

MORREALL Comic Relief. a Comprehensive Philosophy of Humor

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Published by: Libros de Baubo on Oct 10, 2012
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Comic Relief 
 A Comprehensive Philosophy of Humor
 John Morreall 
Foreword by Robert Mankoff,Cartoon Editor of The New Yorker 
A John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Publication
 
This edition first published 2009© 2009 John MorreallBlackwell Publishing was acquired by John Wiley & Sons in February 2007.Blackwell’s publishing program has been merged with Wiley’s global Scientific,Technical, and Medical business to form Wiley-Blackwell.
Registered Office 
John Wiley & Sons Ltd, The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex,PO19 8SQ, United Kingdom
Editorial Offices 
350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148-5020, USA 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford, OX4 2DQ, UK The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 8SQ, UK For details of our global editorial offices, for customer services, and for informationabout how to apply for permission to reuse the copyright material in this book pleasesee our website at www.wiley.com/wiley-blackwell.The right of John Morreall to be identified as the author of this work has been assertedin accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in aretrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,photocopying, recording or otherwise, except as permitted by the UK Copyright,Designs and Patents Act 1988, without the prior permission of the publisher. Wiley also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats. Some content thatappears in print may not be available in electronic books.Designations used by companies to distinguish their products are often claimed astrademarks. All brand names and product names used in this book are trade names,service marks, trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Thepublisher is not associated with any product or vendor mentioned in this book. Thispublication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard tothe subject matter covered. It is sold on the understanding that the publisher is notengaged in rendering professional services. If professional advice or other expertassistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data 
Morreall, John, 1947–Comic relief : a comprehensive philosophy of humor / John Morreall ; foreword by Robert Mankoff.p. cm. — (New directions in aesthetics)Includes bibliographical references and index.ISBN 978-1-4051-9612-3 (alk. paper)1.Wit and humor–Philosophy.I.Title.PN6149.P5M67 2009809
.7—dc222009007420 A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.Set in 10/12.5pt Galliard by Graphicraft Ltd, Hong KongPrinted in Singapore012009
 
Contents
Foreword 
ixRobert Mankoff 
Preface 
xi
 Acknowledgments 
xiii1No Laughing Matter: The Traditional Rejection of Humor and Traditional Theories of Humor1
Humor, Anarchy, and Aggression 
2
The Superiority Theory: Humor as Anti-social 
4
The Incongruity Theory: Humor as Irrational 
9
The Relief Theory: Humor as a Pressure Valve 
15
The Minority Opinion of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas: Humor as Playful Relaxation 
23
The Relaxation Theory of Robert Latta 
242Fight or Flight – or Laughter: The Psychology oHumor27
Humor and Disengagement 
28
Humor as Play 
33
Laughter as a Play Signal 
363From Lucy to “I Love Lucy”: The Evolution of Humor40
What Was First Funny? 
41
The Basic Pattern in Humor: The Playful Enjoyment of a Cognitive Shift Is Expressed in Laughter 
49
The Worth of Mirth 
64

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