A theory of laughter

Laughter is a response evoked when we have surprisingly succeeded in interpreting the world in a way favourable to us.

Humour breaks down restrictive stereotypes and beliefs; it is the destruction of the austere, of the all too serious. These beliefs are a block to social connectedness, freedom, power and enjoyment.

But it is not only the intentionally humourous that defies the austere and makes us laugh. Any interpretation of the world, though usually light-hearted, can make us laugh.

I personally get a kick out of reading Schopenhauer. What a lovable, laughable old crank! When I interpret Schopenhauer I see the complete idiocy of taking a pessimistic attitude to the world. That makes me feel better about the world and I laugh.

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