Philosophy and Social Criticism:019145372210796 (forthcoming)

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 on deliberation, judgment and rhetoric, I highlight both critical and transformative dimensions of the performance. I attribute these to the vignette’s likely reception, which I describe as ‘dissonant’ – unresolved, affectively turbulent and aesthetically attuned. I argue that comedy is uniquely positioned to spur such ‘dissonant’ modes of engagement and, in so doing, to promote acknowledgement and reflective judgment.
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DOI 10.1177/01914537221079677
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References found in this work BETA

Truth and Method.Hans-Georg Gadamer, Garrett Barden, John Cumming & David E. Linge - 1977 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 8 (1):67-72.
The Phenomenology of Spirit.G. W. F. Hegel, H. C. Brockmeyer & W. T. Harris - 1868 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 2 (3):165 - 171.
Racist Humor.Luvell Anderson - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (8):501-509.

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