Free Essay

Paul Gricean

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By lashawnda07
Words 872
Pages 4
It’s a Matter of Humor and Laughter
Ethics and Psychology of Humor in Popular Culture
June 26, 2014
Instructor Marcy Goodfleish

Have you ever heard of the phrase “Laughter is the best medicine?” Well believe it or not laughter and humor have helped people all around the world to get through some of the hardest times of their lives. Famous scholar Herbert Paul Grice born March 15, 1913 and died August 28, 1988 (http://www.plato.stanford.edu) felt that humor is expressed through five rules that can either be broken and upheld in order to converse with one another in a way that’s understandable. In this analysis of Grice’s rules of conversation the five rules will be broken down and interpreted to compare and contrasts his idea of what humor and laughter are and how they relate to the theories of humor in philosophy and the psychology of humor. Rule one of Grice’s theory states “Do not say what you believe to be false” (Morreall 2009. Page 2). What can be taken from this phrase is that if you know something to be untrue or you lack the evidence necessary to prove your statement, do not say it at all just keep it to yourself. This is considered a lie whenever this rule of conversation is put into place. “Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence”(Morreall 2009. Page 2), this phrase falls in the same category as the one before lying is unacceptable when acknowledging Grice’s conversational rules. As the two relate to theories in humor the superiority theory takes over, reason being for example if the comment is made “Your mama’s so fat she has her own state”, this phrase lacks the evidence to prove that this particular mother actually is big enough to possess her own state. Now, on the other hand this rule can also be broken to create humor that’s exaggerated rashly like the example given above. The incongruity theory can also go into effect for the reason that if you think about it envisioning a woman as big as a state would be something very unexpected and unorthodox and may result in an incongruent form of humor. When humor is intended to be out of the ordinary or exaggerated this is the only instance for which rule one can be broken. In the third rule of Grice’s maxims as he refers to them it states “Avoid obscurity of expression” which means to make sure that the information you are giving is relevant. For example, If your spouse asks "How was your day?" and you say "I hate tomatoes" - you are not playing by the rules... you are expected to make a contribution that is somewhat related to the topic at hand (http://www.truthaboutdeception.com). The rule that follows states “Avoid ambiguity or uncertainness”; this means to know what you’re talking about and be confident in your presentation of that information. In relation to the theories on humor it would fall under the incongruity theory, reason being because in the example above if someone would respond back that they hate tomatoes it would catch you off guard causing you to laugh instead when the expectation was something a little more to the point. The incongruity theory is based on the fact that human experience works with learned patterns (Morreall 2009. Page 10), meaning that we learn to expect certain things and when those things are misinterpreted it forms a break in Grice’s rules of conversation. The last rule on conversation says to simply be brief, say what you mean and mean what you say. Get to the point, don’t beat around the bush, and put what you say in the clearest, briefest, and most orderly manner (http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/projects/stylistics.htm). It’s important to not give more information than what is required because then the listener gets either bored with the information or lost and does not comprehend the point that is trying to be given. In humor that’s a very vital aspect and would relate to the relief theory, reason being that the relief theory focuses on built up tension or energy and if someone is so tensed up with anticipation of what’s to come they lose interest if a joke is not to the point and precise. In conclusion humor and laughter can be confusing when not interpreted in the correct context and associated with the appropriate rule or theory. It’s important to be careful when expressing humor to others because it’s easily misconstrued to the point where it’s no longer considered funny. Paul Grice felt that humor should be interpreted in the correct manner which is part of why he came up with the rules for conversation because without them this world would be lost.

References
Grice’s Cooperative Principle. (2005). Retrieved from http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/projects/stylistics
Morreall, J. (2009). Comic Relief: A comprehensive Philosophy of Humor. Malden, MA. Wiley-Blackwell
Philosophy of Humor. (2012). Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu
Martin, R.A. (2007). The Psychology of Humor: An Integrative Approach. Burlington, MA. Elsevier Academic Press.
What are the basic rules people exploit when lying? (2014). Retrieved from http://truthaboutdeception.com

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Grice

...Sur In Partial Fulfillment Of the Requirements for the Degree of Bachelor in Secondary Education Major in English Merry Grace O. Bajo Maristelle R. Agcaoili Kimberly Villarin Ernyl Ver Egod CHAPTER 1 THE PROBLEM AND ITS SETTING Introduction Grice's theory of conversational implicatures is considered as one of the basic and most interesting theories in the history of pragmatics (Levinson, 1983). It sets forward the mechanism that language users should follow in order to understand each other in so many instances when meanings and intentions are not explicitly conveyed (Terkourafi, 2007). Grice’s theory of Conversational Implicatures revolves around the maxims of quantity, quality, relation and manner and how they are violated or flouted. Paul Grice came up with these not as a set of prescriptive rules that people should follow in conversation, but as a means of describing and analyzing the way people convey meanings in real life interactions. The maxim of quantity refers to how much information is necessary in a particular conversation. In observance of this maxim according to Grice, “one should make his or her contribution as informative as required” and “one should not make his or her contribution more informative than is required” in a conversation. The maxim of quality on the other hand, pertains to how truthful is the information given by the speaker in a conversation. With regard to this maxim, according to Grice, the speaker must “not say what he or she believes to......

Words: 1888 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Rapport Management

...Abstract This paper focuses on the motivational concerns that underlie the management of relations. In linguistics, the management of relations has been discussed extensively within politeness theory, and so the paper starts by identifying four key issues of controversy in politeness theory: a) should „polite‟ language use be explained in terms of face (e.g. Brown and Levinson, 1987), conversational maxims (e.g. Leech, 1983), and/or conversational rights (e.g. Fraser, 1990); b) why are speech acts such as orders interpersonally sensitive – is it because they are a threat to our autonomy (Brown and Levinson, 1987), or because of cost–benefit concerns (Leech, 1983); c) is Brown and Levinson‟s concept of negative face too individually focused, and should a social identity component be included (Matsumoto, 1988); and d) is face just a personal/individual concern or can it be a group concern (Gao, 1996)? The paper then uses reports of authentic rapport sensitive incidents to throw light on these controversial issues and to find out the relational management concerns that people perceive in their everyday lives. It maintains that such data is important to politeness theory, because linguistic politeness needs to be studied within the situated social psychological context in which it occurs. The paper ends by presenting and arguing for a conceptual framework that draws a fundamental distinction between face and sociality rights, and that incorporates an independent/interdependent...

Words: 916 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Critical Thinking

...ABSTRACT: This report explores critical discourse analysis as a theory in rhetoric discourse and speech act and pragmatics. The framework of analysis includes the mixture of my own ideas and theory of various experts such and Aristotle, Tuan Van Dijk, H.P Grice and Robert Dilts. As critical discourse analysis is a very flexible term of social linguistic study and it allows one to go with the own ideas, here I have chosen suitable analytical tool of experts to analyze the two different discourse, one is verbal discourse ( Tryst with Destiny) and second is written discourse ( Toyoda’s statement 2013) and at the end comparison of both discourse. Key words: critical discourse analysis, rhetoric discourse, speech act, pragmatics, social linguistic, tryst with destiny, Toyoda’s statement 2013. INTRODUCTION Critical discourse analysis (CDA) comprises three inter-related processes of analysis which are linked up with three inter-related dimensions of discourse. Three inter-related process of analysis. 1) Text analysis (description) 2) Processing analysis ( interpretation) 3) Social analysis ( explanation) Three inter-related dimensions of CDA. 1) Discourse structure (systematically and explicitly described structure at all level) 2) Social structure (in the context of society) 3) Cognitive structure ( mental cognitive interface) The three dimensions of CDA is coherently related with each other to make up a substantial discourse where mental......

Words: 1862 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Discourse Analysis

...------------------------------------------------- CONTENT Abstract……………………………………………………………2 I. Introduction………………………………………………........3 II. Development …………………………………………………..4 1. Conversation Maxims……………………………………...4 2. Violating of the maxims……………………………………7 3.1. Flouting of the maxims………………………............8 3.2. Violating of the maxims……………………………...8 3.3. Infringing the maxims………………………………10 3.4. Opting out of the maxims…………………………….10 3.5. Suspending the maxims……………………………..11 III. Conclusion……………………………………………………..11 Abstract This paper is about how people should consider to meet the cooperative principle and the conversational maxims, in order to performs successfully in professional communication. It is based mainly on Paul Grice`s theory of implicature which is considered one of the most important contribution to pragmatics. Another contribution is that of Sperber...

Words: 1985 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

Critical Analysis of the Story Theft by Katherine Annporter

...I. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Katherine Anne Porter's reputation as one of American’s most distinguished writers rests chiefly on her superb short stories. She explores the psychology of her characters by revealing their outward actions. Overall Porter is known as a writer of tremendous clarity. Her works have been compared to that of Faulkner and Hemingway in their stylistic beauty. However, she herself creates this unique style and constructs it into remarkable objective pieces full of imagery and symbolism. Porter focuses on the darker side of reality but uses her own sort of humor to lighten her writings. In addition, her works are often focused in such Southern locations as Mexico, Texas, and the Southwest in general. "Miss Porter tends to write a story by sending the mind of a character to trouble the past, turning facts into myths and myths into mythologies; then to return, freighted and ready... In stories of this pattern, the characters are normally motionless, like statues: their memories move with their desires, but these are the only movements...In Miss Porter's best stories the past is so rich that it suffuses the present and often smothers it, and even when there is nothing more there is enough. But this means that her characters are utterly dependent upon the past for their development." (Donoghue, 1965) II. ABOUT THE STORY The story is abstracted from “50 Great Short Stories”(Crane, 1952). The plot of “theft” begins on a frozen moment in which the protagonist, who......

Words: 1411 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Gender

...Intentional Violation of Cooperative Principle In Zhao Benshan’s Xiaopin Introduction Zhao Benshan is one of the most famous xiaopin performance artists in China. Some viewers titled him as “King of Xiaopin”. His performances are usually the most expected ones in Spring Festival Gala for the past 20 years. Hilarious lines from his shows seldom fail to catch on in China among both younger generation and senior citizens, both on the internet and in daily life. Some of Zhao’s expressions like 忽悠,得瑟 are even added into the sixth edition of Modern Chinese Dictionary. The popularity of Zhao Benshan and his xiaopin in China is a linguistic phenomenon worth noticing. This paper takes Zhao Benshan’s 2009 xiaopin Money Is Not A Problem (不差钱) as an example, which is regarded as one of his most successful work, and mainly explores the intentional violation of cooperative principle that contributes to the comic effect of Zhao’s xiaopin. It is analyzed from four respects, violation of quality maxim, violation of quantity maxim, violation of relation maxim and violation of manner maxim. Key Words Zhao Benshan, xiaopin, cooperative principle, conversational implicature According to Girce, all the speech acts have certain specific purposes. In order to achieve the purposes, both the speaker and the hearer are expected to obey some basic rules, which is called Cooperative Principle (CP). CP requires what participators of speech acts say contributes to the......

Words: 1356 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Discuss Some of the Ways That Participants in a Conversation Are Sensitive to Others Needs

...Discuss some of the ways that participants in a conversation are sensitive to others needs There are two theories in spoken language that explain how speech in conversations changes due different factors. Some of these factors include; professional status, regional background, and age. These theories are the accommodation theory and the co-operative principle. The accommodation theory was developed by Howard Giles in the 1970’s. He had the theory we change our speech depending on the conversational needs of the person we are talking to. This either leads to divergence, people’s speech moving apart, or convergence, moving our speech closer to the other person’s style. Furthermore, convergence has the effect of decreasing the social distance between speakers which includes downwards convergence which is moving away from Received Pronunciation. A situation where this would take place could be talking to a friend or relative with a strong regional accent. This contrasts with upwards convergence where a person moves closer to Received Pronunciation. A situation in which this could occur could be when talking to a boss or someone with higher status. Mutual convergence is when both the participants move towards each other’s speech styles which tends to happen when both the speakers like each other. Divergence has the effect of emphasising the differences between two people’s speech styles such as a teacher asserting their authority with a class of students. The co-operative......

Words: 504 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Rwanda

...The Rwanda Genocide Xenophobia, the hatred or fear of certain targeted ‘outsiders,’ is one of the most destructive group phenomena in human history. Various incidents in our collective past portray how xenophobia has negatively impacted the lives of so many people. One of the most outright and horrific displays of this destructive force was seen in the German treatment of the Jewish race before and during the Second World War. These events were part of the holocaust, associated with the Nazi notions of racial superiority especially in contrast with their notion of Jewish inferiority. Racial superiority has caused much violence and many deaths for those who have been labeled by the ‘superior’ as ‘inferior.’ This violence has been spawned mostly by an extreme hatred for those viewed as different or inferior. Furthermore, such feelings of hatred have been translated into outright acts of violence against those viewed as inferior, and this at times often prompted retaliation against their oppressors, such as the case in Rwanda. With these premises, the world has been witness to various acts of violence, including the massacre of a significant number of people, all in the name of racial superiority. The concerned countries of the world have often refused to act in time to stop these events even though ample signs of trouble were apparent. Racial superiority has traditionally been an issue for various countries at one point or another in their history, but none worse......

Words: 2222 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Sustainable Stella

...Sustainable Design Case Study on Fashion designer, Stella McCartney. • Stella McCartney would always touch on an element of a sustainable or eco collection in everything she did. • In her lingerie collection, she had a part of the collection that was organic, or with her Adidas collaboration again there were organic materials or recycled materials in the bags or shoes, and every part of her design at some stage comes into contact with that. • She wanted to isolate the collection and in itself make it completely sustainable .She stated she wanted to bring all those elements together and show the importance that it had within the brand. • The designer felt using conventional dyes was an efficient use of resources and had damaging consequences. Though she had to resort to using them in some of her collections she felt it was important to create high quality products for the consumer and not lose its desirability yet also try to be responsible in thinking how to source materials. • She usually sourced organic fabrics. • Some challenges she did face were playing by the rules and being limited. There were less colours, fabrics and different quality attributes she wasn't used to. • She agreed that "80 per cent of a product’s environmental impact is decided at the design stage". • She refrains from using fur or leather in her designs and she exemplified in the reason in the quote, "In the fashion world I think that most designers know fur is wrong. More and more of them also know......

Words: 831 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel

...Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel was born on November 14, 1805, in Hamburg, Germany. Her parents were rather wealthy and education was held very highly in their household. Both Fanny and her three younger siblings were thought Latin, Greek, French, German, geometry, geography, literature, arithmetic and drawing. Fanny also studied piano, first with her mother, then with music teachers in Berlin and Pairs. She was an exceptionally talented pianist, considered even better than her more famous brother, Felix. Her first performance was at one of her family’s Sunday concerts, a tradition started by her grandmother years ago. Poets, writers, musicians and family friends usually attended and they were all astonished when the twelve-year-old Fanny played twenty-four preludes from Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier by heart. At the age of 14 she had begun composing her own works. Fanny composed mainly vocal solos, keyboard pieces, choral works and chamber music. Although she did create many oratorios and cantatas as well as a few quartets, they were not considered suitable for a woman at the time. Her only recorded public performance was in 1838, when she performed Felix's First Piano Concerto for a charity event. She married Wilhelm Hansel in 1820 and they had a son named Sebastian. Continuing the tradition of the Sunday concerts throughout her life, Fanny made them famous for their quality and originality. These Sonntagsmusiken, as they were known, gave her the......

Words: 378 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

What Happened to Xerox in 2002?

...Why was Xerox in trouble in the early 2000s? What do you believe were the root causes? In the early 2000’s Xerox was reported to have been facing bankruptcy after years of mismanagement, piles of debt, and mounting questions about its accounting practices In December 2000, Xerox announced that it had exhausted a $7 billion line of credit, but that $1.4 billion in cash remained. By January 2001, it was rumored that Xerox had hired a bankruptcy advisor namely from the Blackstone Group. However, in an attempt to further hide their financial woes from the public, Xerox officials denied that rumor, stating that they called on Blackstone for financial advice and nothing more. Their financial struggles continued until Xerox Corporation did what no one expected it to do; the company survived a brush with bankruptcy under the direction of a new CEO, Anne Mulcahy, who had no prior experience heading a company although she had served in multiple areas of the company’s business before becoming CEO. In an interview with CNN she was quoted as saying: “although it wasn’t necessarily done with the intent of running the business, I found out that it was a pretty good set of skills and capabilities to have coming into the job.” Although it was believed that Xerox was in trouble in the early 2000’s due to its financial woes, I believe that competition stifled their copier sales. Prior to Ms. Mulcahy taking over, the company was guided by leaders that did not move......

Words: 919 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Methods of Evangilsm

... Romans 3:10-18 goes into more detail of what sin looks like in our lives. Romans 6:23 gives a detailed picture of sin in our lives. It teaches us about the consequences of sin. “ For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Not just a physical death but a spiritual death. The third step picks up where Romans 6:23 leaves off, “ but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. The last step in the Romans Roads is from Romans 10:9 “ that if you confess Jesus as Lord, and believe in you heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. The advantages to this method is that these are true word. These are words that were written by Paul the disciple in the Book of Romans. The words written came straight from the Lord's mouth. Romans 3 Part TWO – Evangelistic Method #2 Part THREE – Evangelistic Method #3 Part FOUR – Evangelistic Method...

Words: 288 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Evangelism

...barriers once separating countries and cultures. As a result, diversification is being experienced throughout our neighborhoods, schools and places of work. People of different religious backgrounds and beliefs are now living in closer proximity. Christians must acknowledge and understand this shift in community demographics so they can respond accordingly. They must evangelize in selfless ways that are relevant and effective in order to fulfill their primary mandate set forth in The Great Commission. Jesus successfully bridged cultural gaps when befriending people very different than himself. Observing how he relationally encountered diverse people provides the necessary model for Christians. This is clearly seen in the lives of the Apostle Paul and Charles De Foucauld. By living his model of relational evangelism Christians can influence others. Relational evangelism, embodied by Jesus, is critical in reaching diversified communities. Globalization Globalization is a concept not easily defined. Thomas Larsson described it as being a “process of world shrinkage, of distances getting shorter, things moving closer.” Communities once separated geographically and culturally are more integrated today. In large part, this integration is the result of boundless communication as Larsson points out, “increasing [the] ease with which somebody on one side of the world can interact, to mutual benefit, with somebody on the other side of the world.” This definition falls short in......

Words: 1739 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

What Is the Christian Life

...looked back on his work and said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (II Timothy 4:7). When it comes to the Race of Life and the Christian Life, I think we have a series of choices. Every morning when we wake up you have a choices. * 1st- We can choose not to run, but if we don’t run we can’t win or we won’t succeed and we are surely not going to honor God. * 2nd- , We can choose to run but not run our best; and if we don’t run your best we are sure to lose and again are we truly going to honor God by doing this? * 3rd- , We can choose to run, meaning run our best, and strive for the prize by focusing on the finish, which is what God has asked of us. That’s exactly what the Apostle Paul wanted us to do in this passage of Scripture. If we are going to run the race and win the race, we are going to have to focus on the finish. The Christian Life is starts by knowing Jesus Christ as our one and only Savior which is which delivers what we are saved from. After making that decision I think we then have to find our purpose and determine what we are saved for. GALATIANS 6:7-10 says, 7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore,......

Words: 2429 - Pages: 10

Free Essay

Philosophy

...The place I chose to observe was the Recreation Center here at Illinois State University. I observed the second floor of the building on February 17, 2014. I went around 2:00 P.M in the afternoon, and at this time it is usually pretty crowded. Most of the people there were men but there were definitely a good amount of women there as well. If I had to give a percentage it would probably be 60/40% ratio of Men/Female. In this setting, the main focus is for people to come in and workout. Many people come in to workout for different reasons though; I know of some of my female friends that come in to actually achieve a good workout so they stay in shape. Some of their friends come in for a completely different reason, to look at guys. I wasn’t totally shocked when my friends told me they did this, but they told me it happens more than you would think. I actually witnessed a lot of different behaviors while being up there. A lot of people, both male and female, had some sort of mad or angry face on them. This doesn’t really surprise me too much because when working out, most people need to get angry to push to that next level. Another common facial expression I saw was happy. I think most of the time when I saw happy faces was right after that had just finished a set or their entire workout. This was definitely an indication that they were happy the pain was over and that they actually did something with their life rather than just sit around and do nothing, they were productive...

Words: 1071 - Pages: 5