Laughter Theoretics 3/4
The Bergson theory
Humour, Laughing, Laughter Theoretics, NWH2017, Teaching, The Bergson theory
In Ancient Times the Greek philosopher Plato was the first one to give an answer to the question why do people laugh. He stated that you are laughing because you are feeling better the person in front of you. According to Plato laughing equals laughing someone out.
After Plato many other people have been thinking about laughter and humour.
You laugh because you want to create a bond with the other person, to let the other person know how great you like him or her. If a friend tells you a good joke, you probably will laugh very loudly. But will you also laugh when the joke is being told by your not so friendly neighbor ?
The Bergson theory.
Another theory is described in the book “Laughter” by French philosopher Henri Bergson (1993) . According to Bergson, laughter has a social function. He says that humour is the caricature of the mechanism of the nature of humans (habits, automatic acts – used frequently by comics and clowns) and the continual creation of new forms. In this way laughter can be provoked.
The following demonstrates this theory: When someone is running across the street and he suddenly trips and falls down, there is a good chance that many of the watching pedestrians will start laughing. They probably wouldn’t have laughed if they knew beforehand that the person would have fallen. We laugh because it is unexpected and involuntary.
What do you think about this theory?