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ERIC Number: EJ1002467
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0021-8510
Exploring the Relationship between Humor and Aesthetic Experience
Gordon, Mordechai
Journal of Aesthetic Education, v46 n1 p110-121 Spr 2012
The connection between humor and aesthetic experience has already been recognized by several thinkers and aesthetic educators. For instance, humor theorist John Morreall writes that "humor is best understood as itself a kind of aesthetic experience, equal in value at least to any other kind of aesthetic experience." For Morreall, both humor and aesthetic experience involve the use of the imagination, are accompanied by a sense of freedom, and often lead to surprises that one did not anticipate. In this essay the author would like to extend the research of Morreall and others who have examined the various connections between humor and aesthetics by focusing on that which is unique about humor and sets it apart from other types of aesthetic experiences. The author begins his analysis by describing the nature and purpose of aesthetic experience while briefly distinguishing it from other human endeavors. In the next part, the author discusses some of the most important characteristics that humor shares with aesthetic experience. He then proceeds to identify that which distinguishes humor from aesthetic experience in general as well as that which is unique for aesthetics. The final part of this essay takes an in-depth look at the shift produced by both humor and aesthetic experience. The author argues that although it may be the case that both humor and aesthetic experience create a shift in the viewer, the kind of shift one experiences in each is generally quite different. (Contains 1 figure and 24 notes.)
University of Illinois Press. 1325 South Oak Street, Champaign, IL 61820-6903. Tel: 217-244-0626; Fax: 217-244-8082; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A