[lit-ideas] Re: Wittgenstein and humorhe believed

  • From: "Walter C. Okshevsky" <wokshevs@xxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 22 Feb 2014 14:14:16 -0330

But isn't there something even mildly hilarious about thrusting a poker into
one's interlocuter's face while surrounded by eminent philosophers (or not)?

Walter O

P.S. Isn't it something like: 

"Before you criticize other people, walk a mile in their shoes. 
....................................... Because then when you do criticize
them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes!

Quoting Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>:

> "The recent 'discussions' here of Wittgenstein's 'sense of humour' seem a
>  bit thin and jejune, in light of his serious interest in the subject of
>  humour."
> They may be thin and jejune but so is this remark: Robert's post does not
> really begin to say what position W had on humour (I suspect W did not think
> the fundamentals of his position on humour could be said, but that's another
> story); and the W remark about a Germany where humour was stamped out also
> seems thin and jejune - can one really easily imagine a society where humour
> is stamped out but the spirits of people are high [try to imagine, as W
> elsewhere urges, "in a real case"]? Also Robert does not even begin to
> indicate how W's "serious interest" in humour overlapped with what W took
> have philosophical importance: we know W took "serious interest" in designing
> a house but does that mean he thought this was of any philosophical
> importance? This last point is of particular importance because "recent
> 'discussions'" focused on whether there was humour in W's philosophical work:
> that W cracked a joke or laughed at one, or even had a "serious interest"
>  in humour (of some unfleshed-out kind), serves only as a (dare one say) thin
> and jejune basis for determining whether there is humour in his major
> philosophical works.
> Donal
> On Saturday, 22 February 2014, 3:46, Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Wittgenstein not only had a sense of humour but thought a lot about humour
> and the human condition. Some of what he thought is captured in pages
> 528--533, of Monk's Wittgenstein: the Duty of Genius. Much of what's there is
> expository, but Wittgenstein himself sometimes speaks. One important aspect
> of Wittgenstein's thinking about humour is that he believed that an
> understanding of it was close to an understanding of music. (Apparently much
> of this is expressed in Culture and Value—which I keep meaning to read.)
> His well-known wit is another story.
> 'Humour is not a mood but a way of looking at the world,' [he] wrote while he
> was in Rosro,* 'So if it is correct to say that humour was  stamped out in
> Nazi Germany, that does not mean that people were not in good spirits, or
> anything of that sort, but something much deeper and more important.' To
> understand what that 'something' is it would perhaps be instructive to look
> at humour as something strange and incomprehensible.
> *Rosro, Norway
> The recent 'discussions' here of Wittgenstein's 'sense of humour' seem a bit
> thin and jejune, in light of his serious interest in the subject of humour.
> Robert Paul
> (Is that my toothache, or yours?)

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