Saturday, April 5, 2008

Festina Lente by Conrad H Roth

I concluded my last post with some rather compressed comments on humour; the laughter of Palaeologus, I wrote, 'is a laughter at that which breaks away from common sense, from judgement, from taste, and from the organic'. These items were not picked at random. They are, in fact, according to Gadamer, in his largely unreadable Truth and Method, the four central concepts of humanism. The humanist, as opposed to the scientist, is not concerned with method: instead he engages in a collective endeavour, guided by tradition and authority, taste and common sense. This post is about the relation of humanism, under this aspect, to the problem of humour, exemplified in the mocking of pedantry.

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