Department of Humanities and Social Sciences

Indian Institute of Technology Ropar

HSS Seminar

Notes on Nietzschean Laughter'


Dr. Sreekumar Jayadevan

October 12 , 2018 at  3:00 PM

Venue:  Conference Room 2


Laughter has a neglected history in philosophy and was never treated as a contender for serious philosophical examination such as justice, freewill or knowledge. Plato, the most influential of all Greek philosophers maintained a critical attitude towards laughter. This is evident when we examine the Platonic approval of reason over emotion, and laughter qualifies as an involuntary expression of several emotional states. In this presentation, I outline three general strands in philosophy of laughter: superiority, relief and incongruity. Finally, taking recourse to Friedrich Nietzsche’s various works, an existential purpose in laughter is laid out.