Demystifying Sensibilities: Sentimental Values and the Instability of Affect

Justin D'Arms and Daniel Jacobson

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Emotion

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780199235018
Published online January 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

 Demystifying Sensibilities: Sentimental Values and the Instability of Affect

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The challenge posed by the instability of affect can be illustrated with the example of amusement and the funny. Funniness seems a relatively stable property of good jokes, comic situations, and witty remarks. When amused by a joke, one ordinarily judges it funny and acts accordingly—perhaps by retelling it when opportunity arises. While we may differ about what things are funny, each of us takes it that whatever is funny remains so over (some period of) time and in various circumstances. Common sense thus presupposes that funniness belongs to the joke, so to speak, in that it will be there to be appreciated when the joke is repeated to a new audience.

Keywords: instability of affect; funniness; sensibilities; sentimental values; judgement; evaluation

Article.  14272 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Mind

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