Why Can’t Philosophers Laugh?

  • Katrin Froese

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Katrin Froese
    Pages 1-23
  3. European Perspectives

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 25-25
    2. Katrin Froese
      Pages 73-96
    3. Katrin Froese
      Pages 97-124
  4. Chinese Perspectives

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 125-125
    2. Katrin Froese
      Pages 127-148
    3. Katrin Froese
      Pages 173-213
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 223-227

About this book


This book analyzes Western and Chinese philosophical texts to determine why laughter and the comic have not been a major part of philosophical discourse. Katrin Froese maintains that many philosophical accounts of laughter try to unearth laughter's purpose, thereby rendering it secondary to the intentional and purposive aspects of human nature that impel us to philosophize. Froese also considers texts that take laughter and the comic as starting points, attempting to philosophize out of laughter rather than merely trying to unearth reasons for laughter. The book proposes that continuously unraveling philosophical assumptions through the comic and laughter may be necessary to live well.


Confucius Zhuangzi Chan Buddhism Nietzsche Kierkegaard Schopenhauer

Authors and affiliations

  • Katrin Froese
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

Bibliographic information