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Civic Laughter

Political Theory 41 (2):203-230 (2013)

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  1. Comedy as Dissonant Rhetoric.Simon Lambek - forthcoming - Philosophy and Social Criticism:019145372210796.
    This article considers the normative and critical value of popular comedy. I begin by assembling and evaluating a range of political theory literature on comedy. I argue that popular comedy can be conducive to both critical and transformative democratic effects, but that these effects are contingent on the way comedic performances are received by audiences. I illustrate this by means of a case study of a comedic climate change ‘debate’ from the television show, Last Week Tonight. Drawing from recent scholarship (...)
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  • Laughter as dissensus: Kant and the limits of normative theorizing around laughter.Patrick T. Giamario - 2021 - Contemporary Political Theory 20 (4):795-814.
    Political theorists have traditionally grappled with laughter by posing a simple, normative question: ‘What role, if any, should laughter play in the polis?’ However, the outsized presence of laughter in contemporary politics has rendered this question increasingly obsolete. What good does determining laughter’s role in the polis do when the polis itself is to a large extent shaped by laughter? The present essay argues that Kant’s aesthetic investigations of laughter in the Critique of Judgment and Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point (...)
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  • Diversifying... Aristotle? Engaging Diverse Students with New Approaches to the Nicomachean Ethics.Heather Stewart - 2021 - Teaching Ethics 21 (1):27-43.
    Taking seriously the notion that diversifying our philosophical pedagogy is of both intrinsic and instrumental importance, this paper offers a defense of, and model for, a pedagogical approach aimed at making canonical philosophical texts more appealing—and more useful—for diverse students. Specifically, taking Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics as a case study, this paper considers how we might make this text more engaging for students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. It does so by offering a five-step model, which involves: situating the text in its (...)
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