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p. 41. The nature of humourlocked

  • Noël Carroll


Humour is the object of comic amusement. ‘The nature of humour’ reviews the leading theories of that which engenders comic amusement – the superiority theory, the incongruity theory, the release theory, the play theory, and the dispositional theory – in the hope that the contrasts that emerge between them will highlight important aspects of the phenomenon of humour. Incongruity theories of humour are regarded as the most promising contenders by the majority of philosophers and psychologists. The incongruity approach provides an eminently serviceable method for discovering the secret to the humour one encounters daily in the form of jokes, comic asides, cartoons, sitcoms, and so on.

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