A sense of humor between philosophy and psychology
The Atlantic published an article dealing with the views of philosophers and psychologists about the sense of humor, how it came about, and the circumstances that make situations funny. It is clear that a great difference appears among scientists regarding the components of humor and the motives for laughter among people, and this is evident in the contrast of many theories.
The contemporary American philosopher, Elwin Brooks White, said: “Humor can be dissected just like an anatomy of a frog; It can be cut into parts for close examination and analysis. However, the internal parts die in their guts and appear discouraging to everyone who tries to study them, except for the enlightened scientific mind. ”
According to its scientific definition, a joke is a joke if people laugh at it, and if it creates a positive feeling of humor and entertainment. But laughter is not a reliable indicator at all; Research has indicated that the average person laughs 18 times a day, yet only 10% of funny talk drives people to laugh.
There is a general theory put forward by a number of great philosophers, such as Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Descartes, and Baudelaire, that we feel pleasure and amusement when we feel superior to others. As for the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, forbidden things are funny and entertaining things. Humor is the valve for relieving pent-up psychological energy.
There is another approach developed by the German philosopher “Kant” and “Schopenhauer”, and which received the support of the American poet and novelist “Henny Youngman”, which sees the joke arising from the contradiction; When a ridiculous situation occurs that contravenes the customs, traditions and societal restrictions, we feel fun and entertaining, and we have constant laughter.
However, all the theories of “contradiction,” “superiority,” and “catharsis” are characterized by deficiencies. This was confirmed by professors of psychology at the University of Colorado, “Peter McGraw” and “Caleb Warren”, who specializes in the research of humor and humor. In order to prove the error of these theories, they cited the following example: “The killing of a family member is contradictory, confirms superiority, and breathes pent-up psychological energy, but that is not funny at all.”
The two professors wrote a book in which they developed the “benign abuse theory,” about humor and humor. According to this theory, we laugh at any situation that is “worrying” at first, then eventually become “benign” in the form of a joke or a joke.
This theory requires that some breach occur, by a social or ethical standard, and that this breach be benign, and that these two conditions are fulfilled at the same time. In order to achieve humor, according to the theory, several tools can be used, the most important of which is the violation of personal dignities such as embarrassing people or pretending to be physically disabled, linguistic standards such as strange accents or misuse of words, social principles such as strange behaviors, and moral standards such as abnormal relationships with animals or behavior. Not respectful. All of these tools serve in the comic as long as they are not threatening to others.
There is another widespread theory, which posits that humor is an evolutionary adaptation that has contributed to enhancing human survival, by rewarding our weak minds with a sense of humor, with the aim of giving it the ability to distinguish the true from the false, the right from the wrong, and the safe from the harmful, over countless centuries.
Today, there are Canadian and Australian researchers working on a new theory called “Quantum Theory of Humor.” At the same time, computer scientists are enhancing the ability of artificial intelligence to perceive and create funny similes, and giant tech companies are creating robots that can make people laugh on their own, with the help of a number of comic writers.