I believe it was Nietzsche who referred to himself as the "laughing philosopher," and I don't think he meant that he was taking a break from thinking! And neither will we.
One reason I've looked forward to this theme for so long is that it will easy for people to bring something to "put in the pot":
• A joke or comical experience. Choose carefully one that challenges a simple understanding of humor.
• A theory of what's funny, or why people laugh. Ideally it would be broadly applicable, yet insightful about specifics.
• A topic question relating to humor. It should tempt us to try to answer it, even if we know it is unlikely we will.
• A prop that anchors a point you want to make about humor, or maybe just a laughable object. I don't have a prop list for you this month, but a forthcoming email addressing the thinking behind prop selection may help. Or not.
In addition to figuring out why some things are funny and others aren't, I hope our discussion will touch upon the role of the comic in philosophizing itself. What does it mean when a philosophical idea makes us laugh? What value do we place on laughing, or not laughing?
I think our meeting will at least be worth a few chuckles. See you Tuesday.