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International Journal of Research in English

Vol. 6, Issue 1, Part A (2024)

Comic relief: Exploring the philosophy of humour


Dr. B Soundary


To understand laughter, we must put it back into its natural environment, which is society, and above all must we determine the utility of its function, which is a social one. Such, let us say at once, will be the leading idea of all our investigations. Laughter must answer to certain requirements of life in common. It must have a social signification. (Henri Bergson) 
Having observed several versions of the Relief Theory, we can note that today almost no scholar in philosophy or psychology explains laughter or humour as a process of releasing pent-up nervous energy. There is, of course, a connection between laughter and the expenditure of energy. Hearty laughter involves many muscle groups and several areas of the nervous system. Laughing hard gives our lungs a workout, too, as we take in far more oxygen than usual. But few contemporary scholars defend the claims that the energy expended in laughter is the energy of feeling emotions, the energy of repressing emotions, or the energy of thinking, which have built up and require venting. Funny things and situations may evoke emotions, but many seem not to. If any friction exists between the teller and the receiver, no humour takes place. The friction or the hostility kills it. This feature reminds the comment on the success of a comic character that a comic character is enjoyed only when he/she is acceptable.

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International Journal of Research in English
How to cite this article:
Dr. B Soundary. Comic relief: Exploring the philosophy of humour. Int. J. Res. Engl. 2024;6(1):01-03. DOI: 10.33545/26648717.2024.v6.i1a.151
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