, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 201–208 | Cite as

Technology is a laughing matter: Bergson, the comic and technology

  • Steffen SteinertEmail author
Original Article


There seems to be no connection between philosophy of humor and the philosophy of technology. In this paper, I want to make the case that there is. I will pursue a twofold goal in this paper: First, I will take an account from one of the seminal figures in the philosophy of humor, Henri Bergson, and bring out its merits for a philosophy of technology. Bergson has never been fully appreciated as a philosopher of technology. I will fill this gap and show that Bergson’s account of the comic contains some interesting insights about our relation to technology. Second, I will show that humor and the comic open up a new perspective on technology that may facilitate new ways of thinking about our technological culture.


Bergson Humor Philosophy of technology Philosophy of humor Laughter The comic 



I would like to express my gratitude to Hannes Perk, Arun Tripathi and an anonymous referee for their helpful comments and suggestions. I also want to thank Liam Francis Walsh for allowing me to use his cartoons.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Systemic Neurosciences, Research Center NeurophilosophyLudwig-Maximilians-Universität MünchenMunichGermany

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