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HUMOUR-RESEARCH  December 2008

HUMOUR-RESEARCH December 2008

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Subject:

Re: Re; Humor and not humor

From:

"[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Humour-Research <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 4 Dec 2008 07:43:23 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (74 lines)

Jim,

(Just) is a manner of speech, not in the sense of (Only.) And humor is 
both subjective and objective; a totally objective notion of humor will 
remove a lot of the variability from it, its dependence on age, gender 
and personality must be taken into account in order to make it 
inclusive, these are all subjective qualities, don't you agree?
Not all borderline cases are uninteresting, some of them define borders 
and these are important.
You seemed to agree with me after disagreeing, I don't see anything 
wrong with taking sides in an argument, or else how are we going to 
reach the truth?
But the most interesting point to me is the necessity of both cognitive 
and motivational, or emotional, aspects to humor. I hope to get back to 
this point later.

Sure, forward is the way.

Faisal

Jim Lyttle wrote:
> I really don't understand the tone of these discussions.
>
> As far as I can tell, the essence of everything is complex. What is 
> the essence of communication? trust? leadership? It is hard to think 
> of any phenomenon rich enough to care about that is not essentially 
> complex. It is beyond me why anyone would think that this was 
> insightful on the one hand, or a subject of ridicule on the other.
>
> It is also beyond me why folks think humor is too subjective to be 
> defined. Humor is certainly not (just) in the eye of the beholder, any 
> more than art or high quality food or communication or anything else 
> human. If humor was just in the eye of the beholder, then about half 
> of the people would find Bill Cosby funnier than Jim Lyttle, and half 
> of the people would find the opposite. The fact is that most people 
> agree about who is more funny, what food tastes best, and so forth.
>
> It is entirely uninteresting to note that there are some borderline 
> cases. Does the existence of a turban send us into a tailspin, 
> doubting the validity of our definitions of scarves and hats? Absurd. 
> Everything has borderline cases and grey areas. That is no reason to 
> hide under the bed and say "It can't be done."
>
> In general, it seems inappropriate to assert that humor is "just" 
> anything. I thought we just agreed that it was complex??
>
> And what is the meaning of being on one "side" or the other, when 
> seeking the truth? The whole point of the kindergarten tale of the 
> blind men and the elephant is to remind us how foolish it is to take 
> up sides, to hold debates, and to care who wins. That is how we do 
> politics, not science.
>
> It seems to me that we have, as a starting point, vague agreement that 
> humor consists of (at least) some cognitive event, somewhat like 
> Raskin has described, and some emotion akin to mirth, joy or 
> what-have-you. When these two things meet, we have humor ... maybe ... 
> sort-of ... pending exceptions to be studied.
>
> Admittedly this is a pretty vague and pathetic start. But can we agree 
> roughly on this, or something like this, and move forward instead of 
> backwards?
>
> ------------------
> JIM LYTTLE, Ph.D.
> 139 E HIGH ST APT 9
> POTTSTOWN, PA 19464
> BB: (610) 850-5050
> .
> .
> .
> .
> .
>

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