Tales of the unexpected. Incongruity-resolution in humor comprehension, scientific discovery and thought experimentation
AbstractSome scholars suspect that thought experiments have something in common with jokes. Moreover, Thomas Kuhn has suggested that what happens to someone who thinks through a thought experiment “is very similar to what happens to a man, like Lavoisier, who must assimilate the result of a new unexpected experimental discovery” (1964: 321). In this paper, I pinpoint the presumed commonalities. I identify, more specifically, what cognitive linguists call “incongruity-resolution” as the problem-solving process not only involved in humor comprehension, but in scientific discovery and thought experimentation as well.
Attardo, S. (1994), Linguistic Theories of Humor. Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Attardo, S., and V. Raskin (1991), “Script theory revis(it)ed: joke similarity and joke representation model”, Humor: International Journal of Humor Research 4, 293–347.
Brône, G., and K. Feyaerts (2003), “The cognitive linguistics of incongruity resolution: marked reference-point structures in humor”. Preprint 2005, Department of Linguistics, KULeuven.
Bruner, J., and L. Postman (1949), “On the perception of incongruity: a paradigm”, Journal of Personality 18, 206–223.
Buckley, F.H. (2003), The Morality of Laughter. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.
Bylebyl, J.J. (1982), “Boyle and Harvey on the valves in the veins”, Bulletin of the History of Medicine 65, 351–367.
De Mey, T. (2003), Thinking Through Thought Experiments. Unpublished dissertation, UGent.
French, R. (1994), William Harvey’s natural philosophy. Cambridge, New York, Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.
Gendler, T. (2000), Thought Experiment: On the Powers and Limits of Imaginary Cases. New York, London: Garland Publishing.
Hacking, I. (1993), “Do thought experiments have a life of their own?”. In: Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association, vol. 2, pp. 302–308.
Harvey, W. (1578), The Movement of the Heart and Blood. Translated with introduction and notes by G. Whitteridge (1976). Oxford, London, Edinburgh, Melbourne: Blackwell Scientific Publications.
Kuhn, T. (1962/1970), The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Kuhn, T. (1962), “The historical structure of scientific discovery”, Science 136, 760–764.
Kuhn, T. (1964), “A function for thought experiments”. In: Melanges Alexandre Koyre. Paris: Hermann, pp. 307–334.
Langeley, P., H.A. Simon, , G.L. Bradshaw, and J.M. Zytkow (1987), Scientific Discovery: Computational Exploration of the Creative Process. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Morreall, J. (1987), The Philosophy of Laughter and Humor. Albany, NY: State University of New York.
Meheus, J. (1993), “Adaptive logic in scientific discovery: The case of Clausius”, Logique et Analyse 143–144, 359–391.
Meheus, J. (1999), “Clausius’ discovery of the first two laws of thermodynamics: a paradigm of reasoning from inconsistencies”, Philosophica 63, 89–117.
Meheus, J., and D. Batens (1996), “Steering problem solving between cliff incoherence and cliff solitude”, Philosophica 58, 153–187.
Nickles. T. (1980), Scientific Discovery, Logic, and Rationality. Dordrecht: Reidel.
Pagel, W. (1976), New Light on William Harvey. Basel, New York: S. Karger.
Raskin, Victor (1985), Semantic Mechanisms of Humor. Dordrecht, Boston, Lancaster: D. Reidel.
Ritchie, G. (1999), “Developing the incongruity-resolution theory”. In: Proceedings of the AISB Symposium on Creative Language. Edinburgh, Scotland, pp. 78–85.
Ritchie, G. (2004) The Linguistic Analysis of Jokes. London, New York: Routledge.
Simon, H.A. (1977), Models of Discovery. Dordrecht: Reidel.
Suls, J. (1972), “A two-stage model for the appreciation of jokes and cartoons”. In: J.H. Goldstein and P.E. McGhee (eds.), The Psychology of Humor. London, New York: Academic Press, pp. 81–100.
Suls, J. (1983), “Cognitive processes in humor appreciation”. In: P.E. McGhee and J.H. Goldstein (eds.), Handbook of Humor, Research. New York, Berlin, Heidelberg, Tokyo: Springer, pp. 39–57.
Veale, T. (2004), “Incongruity in humor: Root cause or epiphenomenon?”, Humor 17, 419–428.
Whitteridge, G. (1971) William Harvey and the Circulation of the Blood. London, New York: Macdonald, American Elsevier.
How to Cite
Number of views and downloads: 337
Number of citations: 0