A book of jokes and a book about them. Ted Cohen loves a good laugh, but as a philosopher, he is also interested in how jokes work, why they work and when they don't. The delight at the end of a joke is the result of a complex set of conditions and processes, and Cohen takes us through these conditions in a philosophical exploration of humour. He considers questions of audience, selection of joke topics, the ethnic character of jokes and their morality, all with plenty of examples that should make the reader either chuckle or wince.
Acknowledgments 1. Introduction 2. Jokes Are Conditional 3. When Jokes Are Asymmetrical 4. Problems and Occasions for Joke-making 5. Jewish Jokes and the Acceptance of Absurdity 6. Taste, Morality, and the Propriety of Joking Appendix Index of Jokes