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Humor is a Philosophy - Essay Example
Philosophy is explained as the general beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group. If one were to examine humor in this context, it would fall under the classification of philosophy, since it is more often than not, a reflection of the beliefs and attitudes that people hold…
In this regard, the philosopher has, I think, a family resemblance with the comedian, who also asks us to look at the world askance, to imagine a topsy-turvy universe where horses and dogs talk and where lifeless objects become miraculously animated. Both the philosopher and the comedian ask you to view the world from a Martian perspective, to look at things as if you had just landed from another planet.
In its own way, a joke can reveal the pathos in laughter, grotesqueness in opulence and life's struggles' in the quiet that envelopes it. The power of humor in liberating the mind and enlightening it to see deeper also connects it to Zen. This is discussed in greater detail below.
Zen says that reality can be understood in a way that is not conceptual. Zen philosophy believes that unitive point of view is not attained by logical dissection of reality but by the intutive method, which transcends subject and object and all logical categories including affirmation and negation. As pointed by Ha Tai Kim 1955:
Zen transcends the logical bifurcation of subject and object, mind and matter, being and non-being, which always falls into the realm of relational knowledge. It is due to the thoroughgoing attitude of Zen that it pierces through relational knowledge, so as to acquire an absolute point of view. It attempts to see the world in its absolute wholeness (p. 21).