Take My Course, Please! The Philosophy of Humour by Steven Gimbel – A Very Short Review

The philosophy of humour, it turns out, is a novel and deeply energised field of philosophical thought. Steven Gimbel’s erudite and–yes, funny–account of this area was a joy to read and listen to; from his extensive examination of the six leading theories of humour to a number of ethical questions very much relevant to our own present, Gimbel brought an endless supply of fascinating questions about the role humour plays in our present, past, and future to the fore. Structured in an accessible and clear way, each of the twenty-four lessons was gripping and not a one of them failed to draw at least a chuckle from me.

To those of you who dislike dad jokes, however, might I recommend you TURN AWAY AND SHIELD YOUR EYES, YOU POOR, INNOCENT SUMMER-CHILD!

It’s very much an entry-level course; don’t expect it to be something different. Gimbel drives home the point that “seeing how the sausage gets made” does not diminish the enjoyment you might draw from humour and making jokes; rather, it amplifies the process, offers insight, and no end of further reading for all you nuts who can’t get enough of unravelling the mysteries of humour. My only regret is, I couldn’t experience Gimbel’s teaching first-hand–he sounds an absolute lark!

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