Advertisement

Erkenntnis

, Volume 83, Issue 6, pp 1303–1320 | Cite as

Fitting Attitude Theory and the Normativity of Jokes

  • Stephanie PatridgeEmail author
  • Andrew Jordan
Article

Abstract

We defend a fitting-attitude (FA) theory of the funny against a set of potential objections. Ultimately, we endorse a version of FA theory that treats reasons for amusement as non-compelling, metaphysically non-conditional, and alterable by social features of the joke telling context. We find that this version of FA theory is well-suited to accommodate our ordinary practices of telling and being amused by jokes, and helpfully bears on the related faultless disagreement dispute.

References

  1. Baker, C., & Robson, J. (2017). An absolutist theory of faultless disagreement in aesthetics. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 98, 429–448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bender, J. (2005). Aesthetic realism 2. In J. Levinson (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of aesthetics. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Broome, J. (2004). Reasons. In P. Pettit, S. Scheffler, M. Smith, & R. J. Wallace (Eds.), Reason and value: Themes from the moral philosophy of Joseph Raz (pp. 28–55). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Brown, S. L., & Schwartz, G. E. (1980). Relationships between facial electromyography and subjective experiences during affective imagery. Biological Psychology, 11, 49–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cappelen, H., & Hawthorne, J. (2009). Relativism and monadic truth. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Carroll, N. (2014). Humor: A very short introduction. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Carroll, N. (2015). Ethics and comic amusement. British Journal of Aesthetics, 54(2), 241–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cohen, T. (1999). Jokes: Philosophical thoughts on joking matters. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dancy, J. (2004). Enticing reasons. In P. Pettit, S. Scheffler, M. Smith, & R. J. Wallace (Eds.), Reason and value: Themes from the moral philosophy of Joseph Raz (pp. 91–118). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  10. D’Arms, J., & Jacobson, D. (2000a). The moralistic fallacy: On the ‘appropriateness’ of emotions. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 61, 65–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. D’Arms, J., & Jacobson, D. (2000b). Sentiment and value. Ethics, 110, 722–748.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. D’Arms, J., & Jacobson, D. (2006). Sensibility theory and projectivism. In D. Copp (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of ethical theory. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  13. De Sousa, R. (1987). When is it wrong to laugh? In J. Morreall (Ed.), The philosophy of laughter and humor (pp. 241–242). Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  14. Egan, A. (2014). There’s something funny about comedy: A case study in faultless disagreement. Erkenntnis, 79, 73–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gaut, B. N. (1998). Just joking: The ethics and aesthetics of humor. Philosophy and Literature, 22(1), 51–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Goldman, A. (1990). Aesthetic qualities and aesthetic value. The Journal of Philosophy, 87, 23–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Harold, J. (2011). Autonomism reconsidered. British Journal of Aesthetics, 51, 137–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hieronymi, P. (2005). The wrong kind of reason. The Journal of Philosophy, 102, 437–457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jacobson, D. (1997). In praise of immoral art. Philosophical Topics, 25, 155–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jacobson, D. (2011). Fitting attitude theories of value. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved August 3, 2014, from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/fitting-attitude-theories/.
  21. Jordan, A., & Patridge, S. (2012). Against the moralistic fallacy: A modest proposal for a modest sentimentalism about humor. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 15(1), 83–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kagan, S. (1989). The limits of morality. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Kivy, P. (2003). Jokes are a laughing matter. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 61, 5–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kölbel, M. (2003). Faultless disagreement. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 104, 53–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Little, M. O. (2013). In defense of non-deontic reasons. In D. Bakhurst & M. O. Little (Eds.), Thinking about reasons (pp. 115–119). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Macfarlane, J. (2007). Relativism and disagreement. Philosophical Studies, 132, 17–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. McDowell, J. (1998). Mind, value, and reality. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  28. McHugh, C., & Way, J. (2016). Fittingness first. Ethics, 126(3), 595–602.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Palmira, M. (2015). The semantic significance of faultless disagreement. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 96, 349–371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Rabinowicz, W., & Rönnow-Rasmussen, T. (2004). The strike of the demon: On fitting pro-attitudes and value. Ethics, 114, 391–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Rabinowicz, W., & Rönnow-Rasmussen, T. (2006). Buck-passing and the right kind of reasons. The Philosophical Quarterly, 56, 114–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Raz, J. (2002). Engaging reason: On the theory of value and action (pp. 90–117). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Robertson, S. (2008). Not so enticing reasons. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 11, 263–288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Scanlon, T. M. (1998). What we owe to each other. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Schafer, K. (2011). Faultless disagreement and aesthetic realism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 82, 265–286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Wallace, R. J. (2013). The deontic structure of morality. In D. Bakhurst & M. O. Little (Eds.), Thinking about reasons (pp. 137–167). New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Walton, K. (1993). How marvelous! Towards a theory of aesthetic value. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 51, 499–510.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Watkins, M., & Shelley, J. (2012). Response-dependence about aesthetic value. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 93(1), 338–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Weems, S. (2014). Ha! The science and when and why we laugh. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  40. Wiggins, D. (1987). Needs, values, truth: Essays in the philosophy of value. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Religion and PhilosophyOtterbein UniversityWestervilleUSA
  2. 2.Law Clerk to Judge Ronald GouldUnited States Court of Appeals for the Ninth CircuitSeattleUSA

Personalised recommendations