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Wisecracks : humor and morality in everyday life

ISBN: 9780226832982
Format: Paperback
Publisher: *University Of Chicago Press
Origin: US
Release Date: May, 2024

Book Details

A philosopher’s case for the importance of good–if ethically questionable–humor. A good sense of humor is key to the good life, but a joke taken too far can get anyone into trouble. Where to draw the line is not as simple as it may seem. After all, even the most innocent quips between friends rely on deception, sarcasm, and stereotypes and often run the risk of disrespect, meanness, and harm. How do we face this dilemma without taking ourselves too seriously? In Wisecracks, philosopher David Shoemaker examines this interplay between humor and morality and ultimately argues that even morally suspect humor is an essential part of ethical life. Shoemaker shows how improvised “wisecracks” between family and friends–unlike scripted stand-up, sketches, or serials–help us develop a critical human skill: the ability to carry on and find the funny in tragedy. In developing a new ethics of humor in defense of questionable gibes, Wisecracks offers a powerful case for humor as a healing presence in human life.