LE 300 Park University Student Responses
Please respond to each student 100 words
- In this unit, we discuss the aesthetics of humor – in your own words, describe what that means and give an example of an aesthetic appeal something might have (a book, a piece of art, music or another example). Why are aesthetics important in life?
I never really would have thought of humor as aesthetics, but after our readings I came to understand it as such. I understood that the aesthetics of humor have to do a lot with motivation. For something to be an esthetic experience we have to be enjoying it for what is and not have any self-interest. The cognitive shift that occurs naturally and playfully. Our readings also described that an experience can be both aesthetic and non-aesthetic, the example that made the most sense to me was that of the general enjoying a sunset for its promise of clear weather for his dawn attack. The aesthetic part comes from just enjoying the sunset and the non-aesthetic part comes from his self interest in the clear weather. Since aesthetic deals directly with our senses, an example of something that has aesthetic to me would be a book. In today’s world, many prefer electronic ways of reading such as reading on a tablet. However, I enjoy the physical book experience and find it an aesthetic experience in more than one way. To begin, the feel and smell of the pages of a new book is something that I enjoy for what it is, no personal gain. And in general, reading provokes cognitive changes due to imagination and creativity.
QUESTION NO. 1 In this unit, we discuss the aesthetics of humor – in your own words, describe what that means and give an example of an aesthetic appeal something might have (a book, a piece of art, music or another example). Why are aesthetics important in life?
ANSWER: Just as in humor, the early philosophers used aesthetics in their work. And just like humor, the textbook states that this idea wasn’t always popular. It points out that “the idea of fun is even more unpopular among us than the notion of beauty, until recently, the story was much the same in philosophical aesthetics” (Morreall, pg. 69). Many of us know how unpopular many magazine ads were at one point in time, or the Victoria Secrets show, and how they depicted their perception of the perfect body or person. More recently, photography has become more open minded, showing all sorts of beauty. It comes down to perception, each person may see something different when looking at something. This is not much different than humor. We all nearly hear something different from humor, or at least perceive it differently. The hope is, is that we can all be open minded enough to hear what is intended or see what is intended. Aesthetically the mountains in California are not terribly pleasing to the eye, unless you stop and see the different colors of gold, the vastness and magnificence of them. So when someone says how pretty they are, one needs to stop and truly see them for what they are. The textbook points out the difference in an aesthetic reaction to a cognitive or practical reaction. When a person looks at something for its aesthetics, they tend to feel something from it, they look at textures, maybe even consider scents. This can provide joy to someone. Whereas a cognitive reaction, is a thought about an object of what it can offer, or what it physically does. This can provide joy, but in a more generic not emotional manner. This is important to humans, as having some of those emotional reactions that can bring you joy, and contentment can be fulfilling. Just as humor can.
Morreall, J. (2009) Comic Relief: A Comprehensive Philosophy of Humor. Blackwell Publishing. Malden, MA. Kindle Edition.