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July 07, 2013


Jim Vaughan

Another very enjoyable Philosophy Bite. I enjoyed the jokes too!

Morality and humour seem to be connected interestingly, not just in a negative way. I think some of the funniest jokes are non-PC but self deprecating e.g. anti-Jewish jokes told by Jewish comedians - which allows me/us to indulge incipient racist attitudes, without admitting to being racist, and without spite. Henning Venn comes to mind, in self-mocking he mocks our shared British prejudices about Germany (and Europe in general).

More generally I think much humour exposes the absurdity of my/our own ethical attitudes. I find "Clare in the Community" funny in the contrast between her "right-on, politically correct" moral persona, and her transparently egotistical motivation.

Tom Lehrer likewise e.g. "National Brotherhood Week" :
'Step up and shake the hand, of someone you can't stand...' and
'Be nice to people who are, inferior to you' etc.

I suppose I think much humour is moral and is about ourselves and our shadow, e.g. the (often moral) contradictions between how we are and how we would like to appear. Even spiteful humour might be about making absurd projections onto other minorities of our own denied fears and self hatred.

I will have to go back and listen again to your previous podcast, where you explore these themes!

Anyway, excellent podcast, thank you.

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