© 2014

Humor, Laughter and Human Flourishing

A Philosophical Exploration of the Laughing Animal


Part of the SpringerBriefs in Education book series (BRIEFSEDUCAT)

Table of contents

About this book


This book is a philosophical investigation of the significance of humor and laughter, examining its relation to other human phenomena including truth, nihilism, dreams, friendship, intimacy, aesthetic experience, self-transcendence and education. The author addresses the relative neglect of humor and laughter among philosophers of education with this volume, where the focus is on the significance of humor and laughter for human flourishing. 
Central questions are threaded through this work: What does the study of humor and laughter bring to philosophy and specifically to philosophy of education?  How is humorist thinking different from other modes of human knowing? What might happen if we were to respond to the absurdity of human existence with humor and laughter? What insights can be learned from a philosophical investigation of humor in relationship to other human phenomena such as dreams, friendship, intimacy, aesthetic experience and self-transcendence? And, finally, how can humor and laughter enhance human existence and flourishing? 
The author presents groundbreaking insights into what can be gained from a study of humor and laughter about human existence in general and flourishing in particular. 
This work will be of interest to philosophers, especially philosophers of education,  as well as to teachers and educators. Its unique blend of philosophical investigation and humorous discourse is both a rigorous and accessible analysis of humor.


Friedrich Nietzsche Siegmund Freud aesthetic humor amusement comic relief education existentialism human development human flourishing humor humor theory incongruity theory of humor laughter moral values education philosophy philosophy of education prophetic trickster relief theory of humor self-transcendence superiority theory of humor

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationQuinnipiac UniversityHamdenUSA

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Humor, Laughter and Human Flourishing
  • Book Subtitle A Philosophical Exploration of the Laughing Animal
  • Authors Mordechai Gordon
  • Series Title SpringerBriefs in Education
  • Series Abbreviated Title SpringerBriefs in Education
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Author(s) 2014
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Humanities, Social Sciences and Law Education (R0)
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-00833-2
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-00834-9
  • Series ISSN 2211-1921
  • Series E-ISSN 2211-193X
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIII, 100
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Educational Philosophy
    Philosophy of Education
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“Humor Laughter and Human Flourishing is a welcome addition to the Springer Briefs in Education series. … this brief volume is a compilation of essays resulting from his reflection over four years on the relationship of humor to human flourishing, as well as from his selective engagement with humor scholarship. Gordon lucidly conveys many rich philosophical insights.” (Sammy Basu, International Journal of Humor Research, Vol. 30 (1), February, 2017)