The Philosophy of Humor Yearbook 1 (1):153–179 (2020)

Chris A. Kramer
Santa Barbara City College
This article investigates the relationships between forms of humor that conjure up possible worlds and real-world social critiques. The first part of the article will argue that subversive humor, which is from or on behalf of historically and continually marginalized communities, constitutes a kind of aesthetic experience that can elicit enjoyment even in adversarial audiences. The second part will be a connecting piece, arguing that subversive humor can be constructed as brief narrative thought experiments that employ the use of fictionalized scenarios to facilitate an open, playful attitude, encouraging a space for collaborative interpretation. This interaction between humorist and audience is an aesthetic experience that is enjoyable in and of itself, as the feelings of mirth are intrinsically valuable. But connected to the “Ha-ha!” experience of these sorts of humorous creations is an “Aha!” or potentially revelatory experience that is a mixture of cognitive comprehension and motivated (emotional) response. The third part of the article will attempt to go beyond the consciousness-raising element with an account of how such possible worlds created in the realm of imagination through subversive humor can bleed into the real world of flesh and blood people. Finally, an example of subversive humor will be analyzed.
Keywords Aesthetics  Humor  Imagination  Oppression  Thought Experiment  Racism
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References found in this work BETA

Metaphors We Live By.George Lakoff & Mark Johnson - 1980 - University of Chicago Press.
Ways of Worldmaking.Nelson Goodman - 1978 - Harvester Press.
Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity.Richard Rorty - 1989 - Cambridge University Press.
Metaphors We Live By.George Lakoff & Mark Johnson - 1980 - Ethics 93 (3):619-621.

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Citations of this work BETA

Feminist Philosophy of Humor.Amy Marvin - forthcoming - Philosophy Compass:e12858.

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