Kort, Eva Books

Dr. Eva Kort is a Lecturer at Costal Carolina University. She received her Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Florida.

Conceptually Distinguishing Mirth, Humor, and Comedy: A Philosophical Analysis
2015 1-4955-0287-2
This book opens a new dialogue for philosophical treatments of humor and comedy. It traces their history from the Dionysian Performance Tradition and brings a fresh perspective to the issue as it recasts standard interpretations of the Aristotelian theory in broader terms that offer new grounds for distinguishing ‘humor’, ‘comedy’ and ‘mirth’.

This book is written to open new avenues for philosophical treatments of humor and comedy. In doing so, it traces a history of conflating ‘humor’ and ‘comedy’ to a standard interpretation of the Aristotelian theory of comedy and humor – an interpretation that continues to inform the main strains of contemporary philosophical theories of humor. The author makes a suggestion for recasting Aristotle’s position. The suggestion offers grounds for distinguishing ‘humor’, ‘comedy’ and ‘mirth’. In addition to outlining the grounds for recognizing this conceptual distinction, the book explores and distinguishes two theoretical strains informing understands of humor.

The author argues that the tendency to conflate ‘humor’ and ‘comedy’ is prompted by a domination in humor studies by what is termed the “Dionysian Performance Tradition”. The author brings forward a possibility that the Dionysian Tradition has had a silent competitor, the “Mirth Tradition,” which seems to inform our thinking about humor and humor-related concepts in everyday living and with which Aristotle may have been familiar. This silent competitor distinguishes ‘humor’ and ‘comedy’ and, in contrast to the Dionysian Tradition, casts humor in an ethically positive light.