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    OT: Posing a question

    I have been catching up with two of my teens this morning, and our morning conversation consisted of the following question. I would love to hear responses.

    There is objective truth, objective goodness, and objective beauty.

    Is there objective funny?


    AMDG,
    Sarah
    2020-2021
    16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
    DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
    DS, 17
    DD, 15
    DD, 13
    DD, 11
    DD, 9
    DD, 7
    +DS+
    DS, 2

    #2
    Well, if you would have thought about this a few days ago, you could have asked Joseph Pearce about it!
    2021/2022 (Planned) - 4th MP Year
    MP Dad & HLN Science Teacher/Tutor
    S - 7, 2nd Grader MP @ HLN & Home
    D - 5, Kindergartener MP @ HLN & Home
    S - 3, Junior Kindergartener MP @ Home

    Comment


      #3
      Michael - I got all excited to see what you wrote to help us....I hope this means you are thinking it through yourself and will come back later with a masterful argument!
      AMDG,
      Sarah
      2020-2021
      16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
      DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
      DS, 17
      DD, 15
      DD, 13
      DD, 11
      DD, 9
      DD, 7
      +DS+
      DS, 2

      Comment


        #4
        If you're looking for a masterful argument, I suggest looking elsewhere than towards me!

        My initial answer as I thought about it as I read it was yes *and* no with a harder lean towards no. A joke (a statement or question, structured with words) can be objective, but whether something is funny or not (reaction to a joke) tends to be subjective rather than objective. Just my initial thought worth way less than $0.02. But you have me thinking about it more now, KF2000.
        2021/2022 (Planned) - 4th MP Year
        MP Dad & HLN Science Teacher/Tutor
        S - 7, 2nd Grader MP @ HLN & Home
        D - 5, Kindergartener MP @ HLN & Home
        S - 3, Junior Kindergartener MP @ Home

        Comment


          #5
          Beorn ,
          Yes...please keep thinking. We are, as well. I think I will even pull out one of our Logic books to help us out. Should be a great summer project!

          More thoughts appreciated!
          AMDG,
          Sarah
          2020-2021
          16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
          DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
          DS, 17
          DD, 15
          DD, 13
          DD, 11
          DD, 9
          DD, 7
          +DS+
          DS, 2

          Comment


            #6
            Sarah, the part of the Poetics about comedy and laughter is lost, so we can't answer your question

            My instinctive reaction is that "funny" as a category doesn't belong in the same tier as truth, goodness, an beauty. There is a contingency to "funny" that is not there for truth: even the same person, in different situations, may change his mind about what is funny and what is not. I don't think it necessarily means that, if we don't find something funny, we lack some degree of understanding. Kyle Janke yesterday said that if we are unable to recognize the objective beauty of a certain work of art ("I don't like it, so it's not a great piece of art"), that points to a lack of education, our understanding is imperfect. I'm not sure you can translate that to "funny" automatically: sometimes yes (as in, "I need to learn to laugh at myself"), sometimes not (a joke can be objectively wrong, so the lack of understanding is in the joker, not in the person who doesn't find the joke funny.)
            Now, of course within the category of funny you can certainly establish an objective hierarchy of judgment: PG Wodehouse is higher funny than a cheap pun in a comic strip. But I don't think that's what you're talking about.


            DS (15)
            DD (14)
            DS (7)

            Comment


              #7
              We are definitely not placing "funny" into the same tier as truth, goodness, and beauty, because these are a set all their own. God is all truth; He is all goodness; He is all beauty; Funny does not fit there.

              But our question arose because each of those things that are true, are good, or are beautiful do not rely on a person's subjective opinion in order to be such. We can talk about something being beautiful despite it not being someone's personal taste; and we can talk about why they may not "appreciate" the beauty of it but that does not change whether or not it IS beautiful. And very often, we use those same words - something "is" funny, you know? But that is where our question began..."IS" something funny, but you may not have cultivated the "right" sense of humor to appreciate it? Or is "funny" actually something subjective?

              AMDG,
              Sarah
              2020-2021
              16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
              DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
              DS, 17
              DD, 15
              DD, 13
              DD, 11
              DD, 9
              DD, 7
              +DS+
              DS, 2

              Comment


                #8
                ... thinking out loud here... is something *always* funny, or is it not rather that a situation, a context, makes something funny? For instance, take the classic slipping over a banana peel. There is one context in which we find it funny and give ourselves permission to laugh (a cartoon, an old Harold Lloyd movie, etc.). But if you see it happen to someone in the street, you wouldn't find it funny and you wouldn't laugh - or maybe you would, but only if the person is not hurt (and laughs first!)
                "Glass is a hard surface" is always true. "Slipping over a banana peel is a funny thing" cannot be said to be always true, and one could not convince a poor fellow who got a big bruise out of it that his sense of humor is lacking.

                But wait... What if one said, "Slipping over a banana peel is such an overused cliche' in objectively comical situations that it doesn't make me laugh anymore"... are we under an obligation to acknowledge something is funny even when we don't find it so? So it may be safer to say "I find this funny" rather than "This is funny", as you may have a philosopher in front of you, and we don't want to mess with to be in front of a philosopher (similarly, one shouldn't want to mess with to love and twist it into to like.)

                If we reason too much over something, then nothing is funny, so what does that mean about funny-ness? Yes, yes, I'm joking But... is that funny?? I feel I'm lost in in a logical maze, so I bow out of here
                DS (15)
                DD (14)
                DS (7)

                Comment


                  #9
                  Mrs Bee
                  When Dr. Seals said, "There's no telling what we'll find," the first thing I thought of was the Comedy section from the Poetics! It's been in my mind every since reading The Name of the Rose last year.
                  Festina lentē,
                  Jessica P

                  2021-2022 • 12th year HSing • 10th year MP
                  12th • AP Latin online, DE Calculus & Physics, HLN
                  10th • HLN, Latin online, MPOA
                  7th • HLN & Home
                  4th • HLN & Home
                  Me: Third Form Summer Intensive MPOA

                  Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Mrs Bee View Post
                    ..

                    If we reason too much over something, then nothing is funny, so what does that mean about funny-ness? Yes, yes, I'm joking But... is that funny?? I feel I'm lost in in a logical maze, so I bow out of here
                    You may be lost in the logical maze, but I'm over here contemplating that there is definitely beauty and goodness in laughter. Your infant's first chuckle. Children laughing and delighting over blowing bubbles. Laughing together at Peter Frost and the ghost in The Moffats, or the donuts in Homer Price.

                    And back to Sarah's question --- Is there objective funny?


                    I think that overall ---- what's funny is subjective. But there are some things I think might be universally funny. Things that are so ridiculous that you can't help but laugh, no matter who you are. Then again, that might depend on culture, maturity level, etc.
                    Plans for 2021-22

                    Year 11 of homeschooling with MP

                    DD1 - 26 - Small Business owner with 2 locations
                    DD2 - 15 - 10th grade - HLS Cottage School/MPOA/True North Academy - equestrian
                    DS3 - 13 -6A Cottage School - soccer/tennis -dyslexia and dysgraphia
                    DS4 - 13 - 6A Cottage School -soccer -auditory processing disorder
                    DD5 - 9 - 4A, Cottage School -equestrian
                    DS6 - 7 - MP 1 - first time at the Cottage School this fall!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      If you read Aristophanes' "Clouds" you will see some objective funny in bathroom humor. Never gets old apparently. ?‍♀️ Maybe laughing about yourself (humanity) is always funny?
                      Festina lentē,
                      Jessica P

                      2021-2022 • 12th year HSing • 10th year MP
                      12th • AP Latin online, DE Calculus & Physics, HLN
                      10th • HLN, Latin online, MPOA
                      7th • HLN & Home
                      4th • HLN & Home
                      Me: Third Form Summer Intensive MPOA

                      Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

                      Comment

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