"A great book. But what do I know?"
"This book got me out of my cave."
"An excellent book! Well, relatively."
- Albert Einstein
"It made me chuckle."
- Mona Lisa
From the Back Cover
You've Got to Be Kidding: How Jokes Can Help You Think
focuses on a single, core issue at the heart of philosophy: our ability to think critically. The authors, a father and son team of distinguished professors, aren't kidding around when they show us that jokes illustrate the various ways in which the thinking process goes awry. On the other hand, they argue that jokes 'work' (they're funny) because they assume standards of rational thinking that are violated by the joke itself. They also reveal that many jokes assume certain fundamental ethical and moral truths, and what makes them amusing or funny is when one or more of these truths is violated. The punch line, of course, is that jokes are an invaluable resource for discussing issues of objective truth and for thinking critically about values. They also suggest that thinking critically is often a collaborative process, and that thinking often goes awry when one tries to 'go it alone.' You've Got to Be Kidding: How Jokes Can Help You Think
is a serious and thoughtful analysis of the ways jokes illustrate how we think critically -- and that's no laughing matter.