The Passions and Actions of Laughter in Shaftesbury and Hutcheson

Abstract : The third Earl of Shaftesbury and Francis Hutcheson considered laughter as a passion in its own right. The hilarious response is not reducible, as Hobbes believed, to the facial expression of the sudden awareness of our own superiority. Ridicule is however an important kind of laughter; it is also an action, part of a strategy against the seriousness of fanaticism. Shaftesbury gives much importance to the politics of laughter and to the caustic power of ridicule, but also to the capacity to laugh at one’s laughter, which is crucial to what he calls good humour. Hutcheson and Shaftesbury interestingly disagree on the question of how to regulate laughter and limit its abuse.
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Contributor : Laurent Jaffro <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, August 1, 2017 - 10:59:40 AM
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Laurent Jaffro. The Passions and Actions of Laughter in Shaftesbury and Hutcheson. Alix Cohen; Robert Stern. Thinking about the Emotions: A Philosophical History, Oxford University Press, pp.130-149, 2017, Mind Association Occasional Series, 9780198766858. ⟨10.1093/oso/9780198766858.003.0007⟩. ⟨halshs-01570930⟩



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