Category: Ben Patterson

What makes us laugh


what makes any of us laugh? What constitutes humor? This may come as a surprise to you, but philosophers of the stature of Aristotle, Bergson and Schopenhauer have debated this question and written books detailing their answers. Even the great Sigmund Freud, himself as “humorless as a chicken,” wrote an essay entitled “Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious.” A real side-splitter, I’m sure. Throughout all of the theories, two elements seem always to be present in what makes something funny: incongruity and surprise.

Ben Patterson

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