The Importance of Not Being Earnest

We explore what’s philosophically interesting about comedy. Both have a lot in common: showing up the ordinary as odd, critiquing the status quo, hecklers… But can humour be a source of knowledge? What does it tell us about how we interact with one another? What role does it play in our social and political life? And will we ruin the joke by explaining it?!

Robert Newman
Comedian & Author
Kieran Setiya
Professor of Philosophy, MIT
Zoe Walker
Lecturer in Philosophy, Magdalene College, Cambridge

Sarah Fine
Fellow, Forum for Philosophy & Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, KCL

Co-sponsored by the Royal Institute of Philosophy and the Centre for Philosophy and Visual Arts, KCL

Recorded on 10 May 2021