Humor researchers have struggled for years to unravel the nature of the
humorous event and to tie their findings to the phenomenon of laughter.
In the essay below, I attempt to show how the use of the term "humor",
which has no definitive meaning, has led to circular arguements and
nonsensical statements. I also do away with the myth of joy, which has
been viewed as having a positive affective substrate, when the opposite
appears to be the case.
I have posted the essay on a Google site: Laughing and crying as
displacement activities: the implications for humor theory.
I have attempted to show that viewing laughter as a displacement
activity (defined in the essay) and explaining why it is confusing to
use the term humor in certain contexts, answers the major problems
encountered by humor researchers. (updated)
I think you will enjoy the read.