There’s Something Funny About Comedy: A Case Study in Faultless Disagreement
Very often, different people, with different constitutions and comic sensibilities, will make divergent, conflicting judgments about the comic properties of a given person, object, or event, on account of those differences in their constitutions and comic sensibilities. And in many such cases, while we are inclined to say that their comic judgments are in conflict, we are not inclined to say that anybody is in error. The comic looks like a poster domain for the phenomenon of faultless disagreement. I argue that the kind of theory that does the best job of accounting for the appearance of faultless disagreement is a de se version of a response-dependence account, according to which thinking that x is funny is self-attributing a property of the type, being disposed to have R to x in C.
KeywordsComic Thought Conversational Context Doxastic State Contextualist View Possibility Space
Thanks to audiences at the Narrative of Aesthetics conference at they University of Kentucky, the Northern Institute of Philosophy, and the City University of New York for extremely helpful comments and discussion. Thanks also to Bob Beddor for invaluable research assistance and comments.
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