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Jokes Philosophical Thoughts on Joking Matters (Hardcover)

Author:  Ted Cohen
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Learn more about Jokes:

Format: Hardcover
ISBN-10: 0226112306
ISBN-13: 9780226112305
Sku: 30508613
Publish Date: 4/30/2007
Pages:  112
Age Range:  NA
 
Ted Cohen thinks that's not a bad joke. But he also thinks it's not an easy joke. For a listener or reader to laugh at Abe's conversion, an intricate set of conditions must be met. First, a listener has to recognize that Abe and Sol are Jewish names. Second, that listener has to be familiar with the widespread idea that Jews are more interested in money than anything else. And finally the listener needs to know this information in advance of the joke, and without anyone telling him or her. Jokes, in short, are complicated transactions in which communities are forged, intimacy is offered, and otherwise offensive stereotypes and cliches lose their sting -- at least sometimes.

Jokes is a book of jokes and a book about them. Cohen loves a good laugh, but as a philosopher, he is also interested in how jokes work, why they work, and when they don't. The delight at the end of a joke is the result of a complex set of conditions and processes, and Cohen takes us through these conditions in a philosophical exploration of humor. He considers questions of audience, selection of joke topics, the ethnic character of jokes, and their morality, all with plenty of examples that will make you either chuckle or wince. Jokes: more humorous than other philosophy books, more philosophical than other humor books.

From the Publisher:
Ted Cohen thinks that's not a bad joke. But he also thinks it's not an easy joke. For a listener or reader to laugh at Abe's conversion, an intricate set of conditions must be met. First, a listener has to recognize that Abe and Sol are Jewish names. Second, that listener has to be familiar with the widespread idea that Jews are more interested in money than anything else. And finally the listener needs to know this information in advance of the joke, and without anyone telling him or her. Jokes, in short, are complicated transactions in which communities are forged, intimacy is offered, and otherwise offensive stereotypes and cliches lose their sting -- at least sometimes. Jokes is a book of jokes and a book about them. Cohen loves a good laugh, but as a philosopher, he is also interested in how jokes work, why they work, and when they don't. The delight at the end of a joke is the result of a complex set of conditions and processes, and Cohen takes us through these conditions in a philosophical exploration of humor. He considers questions of audience, selection of joke topics, the ethnic character of jokes, and their morality, all with plenty of examples that will make you either chuckle or wince. Jokes: more humorous than other philosophy books, more philosophical than other humor books.

Praise

London Review of Books
"One of the many triumphs of [this book] apart from the not incidental fact that the jokes are so good that [Cohen] doesn't bother to compete with them--is that he never tries to sound more profound than the jokes he tells....Cohen gives us such a keen--and daunting--sense of what it is for a joke to misfire....that he makes you feel he is doing an unusual kind of philosophy. As though he has managed to turn J.L Austin into one of the Marx Brothers." - Adam Phillips 02/17/2000

Product Attributes

Product attributeBook Format:   Hardcover
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0112
Product attributePublisher:   University of Chicago Press
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