Inside Jokes: Using Humor to Reverse-Engineer the Mindby Matthew M. Hurley, Daniel C. Dennett, Reginald B. Adams Jr.
Some things are funny jokes, puns, sitcoms, Charlie Chaplin,The Far Side, Malvolio with his yellow garters crossed but why? Why does humor exist in the first place? Why do we spend so much of our time passing on amusing anecdotes, making wisecracks, watching The Simpsons? In Inside Jokes, Matthew Hurley, Daniel Dennett, and/i>/i>/i>… See more details below
Some things are funny jokes, puns, sitcoms, Charlie Chaplin,The Far Side, Malvolio with his yellow garters crossed but why? Why does humor exist in the first place? Why do we spend so much of our time passing on amusing anecdotes, making wisecracks, watching The Simpsons? In Inside Jokes, Matthew Hurley, Daniel Dennett, 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 with open-ended thinking. Mother Nature aka natural selection cannot just order the brain to find and 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 humorists over the centuries, and we have become addicted to the endogenous mind candy that is humor.
"The theory [the authors] elaborate is a detailed and sophisticated descendant of incongruity theories. … The learned and even-handed stance adopted by [them] regarding problem cases is … upbeat: they regard their theory as a provisional staging post, and a prompt to further empirical enquiry into these open-ended issues. On balance, that is probably the right attitude to take." The Times Literary Supplement
" Inside Jokes is the most persuasive theory of humor in the centuries that scientists have been trying to explain why we crack up. Extra bonus: unlike most such research, which is about as funny as a root canal, Hurley's analysis is and I don't think I'm going out on too much of a limb here the funniest thing the MIT Press…has ever published (in a good way)." Sharon Begley The Daily Beast
"Science advances by asking new questions, and Matthew Hurley, Daniel Dennett, andReginald Adams raise a lot of them… Some of these questions have been asked before, but no previous attempt succeeds in answering so many so well." Walter Sinnott-Armstrong Science
- MIT Press
- Publication date:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.70(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.30(d)
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
What People are saying about this
"MIT Press has come up with a page-turner, a book you can't put down. That is no joke! The authors have dissected the mental state of humor and, instead of dismissing it, instill awe about the beauty of the evolved human mind. Humor at its various levels cleans up our act and plays a magnificent role in making us who we are." Michael Gazzaniga , Director,Sage Center for the Study of Mind, University of California, Santa Barbara
"What's so funny about a robot with a sense of humor? In this highly original analysis, Hurley, Dennett, and Adams try to locate the holy grail, the essence of a joke, by using a variety of tools (from computer science, cognitive science, linguistics, philosophy, and even evolutionary psychology) to dissect why we laugh. This powerful team of authors goes a long way to explain why and when we laugh, and in doing so uncover insights about how the mind works. But like the proverbial millipede who, trying to analyze how he lifts each of his legs in the precise sequence, starts tripping over, readers should beware that getting inside a joke risks dehumorizing it!" Simon Baron-Cohen , Professor of Developmental Psychopathology and Director,Autism Research Centre, Cambridge University
Meet the Author
Matthew M. Hurley is currently researching teleology and agency at the Center for Research on Concepts and Cognition at Indiana University.
Daniel C. Dennett is University Professor and Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University. He is the author of Brainstorms: Philosophical Essays on Mind and Psychology, Brainchildren: Essays on Designing Minds, Sweet Dreams: Philosophical Obstacles to a Science of Consciousness, all published by the MIT Press, and other books.
Reginald B. Adams, Jr., is Associate Professor of Psychology researching emotion and social perception at Penn State University.
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >