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Wittgenstein and Situation Comedy

Goldstein, Laurence (2009) Wittgenstein and Situation Comedy. Philosophia, 37 (4). pp. 605-627. ISSN 0048-3893. (doi:10.1007/s11406-009-9192-6) (KAR id:28024)


I examine how context is a determinant of the content of a speaker’s utterance. My concern is, obviously, with utterances in situ, but what may not be quite so obvious is why it is particularly profitable to study comic utterances. What is distinctive about situation comedy is that one form of humour that it features springs from the influence of context (situation). Much situation comedy is crude, barely amusing and completely devoid of philosophical interest. However, there is one element of the best-written sitcoms, the study of which beautifully illustrates a deep problem for cognitive science, throws a flood of light on central themes in Wittgenstein’s late, and late late, philosophy and provides the key to the solution of a number of outstanding problems in the philosophy of language. These are the large claims defended in this essay.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/s11406-009-9192-6
Uncontrolled keywords: Wittgenstein situation comedy Recanati humour humor context Tanney ellipsis subsitutivity ambiguity Kripke
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Laurence Goldstein
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2011 12:26 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:06 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Goldstein, Laurence.

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