What’s In a Joke?: Bergson and the Art of Humour

Comedians are constantly scrutinised for the kinds of jokes they tell, as some jokes are perceived as derogatory, offensive, and even harmful. However, many comedians argue that these condemnations are unwarranted. After all, for them and many others, jokes are just jokes. Is there anything to the argument that “jokes are just jokes” and that jokes are, therefore, exempt from questions of morality? That is, is there something about the form of jokes–their structure–which makes them exempt from having moral implications? Is it ever ethically wrong to laugh at or tell a joke? In this essay, Fraser Gray examines these questions from the perspective of Henri Bergson’s theory of humour, arguing that a certain sub-set of jokes that trade in racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic, or other such attitudes are morally wrong to tell and laugh at.

A Culture of ‘Two’: Irigaray’s Rethinking of Philosophy

Luce Irigaray is a well-known critic of phallocentrism in the Western philosophical tradition, as well as an advocate of a new culture or philosophy which respects the specificity of the feminine. In this essay, David Fan argues that for Irigaray, the question of sexual difference is the foundation from which philosophy can be radically transformed. This essay examines how Irigaray reimagines philosophy as an intersubjective wisdom of love, through her construction of a culture of “Two.”