Inside Jokes Using Humor to Reverse-Engineer the Mind

ISBN-10: 0262518694
ISBN-13: 9780262518697
Edition: 2013
List price: $18.95 Buy it from $13.49
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Description: Some things are funny -- jokes, puns, sitcoms, Charlie Chaplin, The FarSide, Malvolio with his yellow garters crossed -- but why? Why does humor exist in thefirst place? Why do we spend so much of our time passing on amusing anecdotes, making  More...

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Book details

List price: $18.95
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 2/8/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 376
Size: 5.75" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.056
Language: English

Some things are funny -- jokes, puns, sitcoms, Charlie Chaplin, The FarSide, Malvolio with his yellow garters crossed -- but why? Why does humor exist in thefirst place? Why do we spend so much of our time passing on amusing anecdotes, making wisecracks,watching The Simpsons? In Inside Jokes, Matthew Hurley, DanielDennett, and Reginald Adams offer an evolutionary and cognitive perspective. Humor, they propose,evolved out of a computational problem that arose when our long-ago ancestors were furnished withopen-ended thinking. Mother Nature -- aka natural selection -- cannot just order the brain to findand fix all our time-pressured misleaps and near-misses. She has to bribe the brain with pleasure.So we find them funny. This wired-in source of pleasure has been tickled relentlessly by humoristsover the centuries, and we have become addicted to the endogenous mind candy that ishumor.

Matthew M. Hurley is researching emotions and creativity under Douglas R. Hofstadter at the Center for Research on Concepts and Cognition at Indiana University.

Reginald B. Adams, Jr., is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Penn State University.

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