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November 09, 2006


Ophelia Benson

Possibly, possibly, and yet - real, complete lack of sense of humour does seem quite *similar* to stupidity. It seems dim, point-missing, obtuse, shuttered, blinkered, unobservant. Casaubon-like. Is Casaubon intelligent? In a sense; but perhaps not *truly* intelligent, or he would have known The Key to all Mythologies was a dead end - or at least have had the sense to learn German.

Nigel Warburton

This comment started an interesting discussion on the website Butterflies and Wheels...but discussion moved swiftly away from the critical thinking point which is that the way Grayling phrased this seemed to involve an arbitrary redefinition of 'intelligent' so that humour became an essential ingredient in every intellligent person's character... I might stipulate that every good blogger has a sense of humour - then there can't be any serious counterexample because I will simply respond of a humourless but apparently good blogger that they aren't a 'truly good' blogger...


Of course all intelligent people have a sense of humor!
Not to be flip, but bright people "get it". Humor is irony. It is an unexpected turn of events - if one is too stupid to anticipate a certain sequence of expected events, then they don't "get it".
This is not to say intelligent people find, say, a sit-com funny. Quite the opposite. Some current entertainment, meant to be "funny" won't be humorous to an intelligent person - and they can tell you why it's NOT funny. Get it?


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