Does humour make us human, or do the cats and dogs laugh along with us? On Humour is a fascinating, beautifully written and funny book on what humour can tell us about being human. Simon Critchley skilfully probes some of the most perennial but least understood aspects of humour, such as our tendency to laugh at animals and our bodies, why we mock death with comedy and why we think it's funny when people act like machines. He also looks at the darker side of humour, as rife in sexism and racism and argues that it is important for reminding us of people we would rather not be.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Introduction; Chapter 2 Is Humour Human?; Chapter 3 Laughing at Your Body – Post-Colonal Theory; Chapter 4 The Laughing Machine – a Note on Bergson and Wyndham Lewis; Chapter 5 Foreigners are Funny – the Ethicity and Ethnicity of Humour; Chapter 6 The Joke’s on All of Us – Humour as Sensus Communis; Chapter 7 Why the Super-Ego is Your Amigo – My Sense of Humour and Freud’s;
Simon Critchley is Professor of Philosophy and Director for the Centre of Theoretical Studies at the University of Essex. He is the author of Ethics-Politics-Subjectivity (1999) and Very LittleAlmost Nothing (Routledge, 1997). His most recent book is Continental Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (2001).