Skip to main content

Publication Details

Kindness and Bitterness of Humor in the Reflections of Louis Cazamian

(Original title: Laskavost a hořkost humoru v úvahách Louise Cazamiana)
Filozofia, 74 (2019), 10, 866-875.
Type of work: Reflections
Publication language: Czech

The article deals with the problem of kindness of humor in the context of Louis Cazamian’s theory of humor. It highlights Cazamian’s suggestion that the idea of kindness of humor is an outcome of a specific myth. This myth shows the English nation is particularly endowed for humorous witticism, because the spirit of this nation is realistic, piquant and full of cordiality. Cazamian maintains that this myth must be criticized and dismissed, but he also suggests that it, to a certain degree, reflects the nature of experience with humor. Further, the article follows Cazamian’s detailed investigation into various aspects of the relation of kindness and humor. He emphasizes that humor, as a specific kind of mixture of natural and unnatural approach to reality, results in relativism of thought that is not far from tolerance and kindness. He shows as well that kindness is an important part of affectability and affectability is the basis of an important kind of humor. And he also suggests that the apparent kindness of a humorist presents a kind of his or her trick, which he or she uses to calm a person criticized by humorous mockery. Finally, the article stresses, in all these respects, the more detailed view shows that there is only a certain affinity between kindness and humor, not any kind of an essential relation. However, such a more detailed view also shows humor as a very complicated mechanism, in which different and even contradictory tendencies mingle.


Henri Bergson, Humor, Kindness, Louis Cazamian, Mockery

File to download: PDF