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You've Got To Be Kidding!: How Jokes Can Help You Think 1st Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-1405196642
ISBN-10: 1405196645
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Editorial Reviews


"A great book. But what do I know?"
- Socrates

"This book got me out of my cave."
- Plato

"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.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (September 21, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405196645
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405196642
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,716,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Whether you are CEO of a fortune 500 corporation; a team leader, sales manager, stressed out person looking for employment, or someone suffering from health problems, having a sense of humor would be almost mandatory for your survival. Even receiving frustrating objections in communicating with others would require a well-developed sense of humor to stop negative emotions from leaking out and to reframe the situation with gentle humor to bring it back into an effective persuasion process.

For a long time psychologists and philosophers have been grappling with questions such as "What makes us laugh" and "What are the techniques of making humor?" For example, early on Sigmund Freud in his famous book "Jokes and Their Relations to the Unconscious" tried to answer these elusive questions which have long remained the subject of numerous other publications to follow.

"You've Got to Be Kidding!" stands out among such a huge number of publications on the subject because of its innovative and rather unique point of view. While this book deals with a great number of logical fallacies and irrational thinking whose unexpected incongruities lead to humor, its main purpose is something else - and notably a much more noble and important one. It uses humor constructions to teach the reader how to think critically.

The authors, inspired by Jamie Whyte's "Crimes against Logic - Exposing the Bogus Arguments of Politicians, Priests, Journalists, and Other Serial Offenders (2005)," creatively use constructions of humor to highlight various logical fallacies. Their book receives high marks because of its double value in showing incongruity structures in humor as well as techniques of critical thinking.
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