Scribner Seminar Program
Humor and Laughter, Seriously
Instructor(s): Silvia Carli, Philosophy
Humor and laughter are pervasive phenomena of human life. We enjoy them immensely and cannot imagine living without them. But why do we laugh? What do we find humorous? Are we the only species that jokes and has fun? What mental faculties does the appreciation of humor require? What does laughter tell us about being human? In this seminar students will explore answers to these questions from a variety of perspectives, including philosophy, psychology and evolutionary theory. We will also read and watch comedies as the starting points of our investigation. Throughout the course we will pay attention to the ethical and social implications of humor and laughter.