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CEPPA Talk (in person) – Jordan MacKenzie (Virginia Tech)
April 27 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Location: Edgecliffe G03
Title: Humorlessness and Moral Recognition
Abstract: We’re often quick to point fingers at people who fail to find humor in themselves. And our accusations have a moral tinge: we decry people for being sanctimonious buzzkills, and command them to ‘get over themselves’. But are these moralized reactions justified? And what, if anything, justifies them? In this paper I argue that humourlessness often is a moral failing. This is because humorlessness often involves a disrespectful failure or refusal to engage with other peoples’ perspectives. I’ll then explore what implication this account has for accusations of humorlessness in oppressive social contexts, and I’ll argue that one of the harms of oppression is that it makes having a sense of humor towards oneself morally risky.