Aristotle On Ridicule

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In book Four, Chapter Eight of the Ethics, Aristotle applies his philosophical ideals to the concept of humor and good company. He establishes categories and kinds of humor or wit, and sets limits for the behavior that a gentleman and a wise man will accept. At one point, however, he makes the admission that itís hard to define when ridicule is appropriate. Because people react to ridicule in different ways, according to their temperament. …

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…represents a range of humor and wit, from the harmless joke to sarcasm. This does not fit the usual understanding of ridicule, however. In conclusion, the argument about the meaning of ridicule seems a little unclear, as if Aristotle is still thinking out his argument. But he concludes that in a circle of wise people, gentle good humor is always welcome. Ridicule, on the other hand, needs to be regulated in order to be acceptable.