Daniel Korsunsky
BASc Cognitive Science
BLUE Fellow
|
Fall
2020
Understanding the phenomenology of humor appreciation: flirting with "what is real"
BLUE Fellow
Fall
2020

Background

Daniel seems to be an undergraduate student studying Cognitive Science and a sucker for good stories, the outdoors, and deliberate incongruity. His research focuses on the phenomenology of humor appreciation, how it flirts with our constructed perceptions of "what is real", and what it might reveal about the human condition. Humor is one of the most cognitively and culturally complex forms of engagement with ourselves and the world around us, revealing both what we pay the most and least attention to, and allowing us to safely grapple with our anxieties and the unknown. Using ideas from disciplines such as neuroscience, philosophy, and anthropology to create a more unified picture of how we compose our perceptions of the self, the world, and their relationship to one another, we can better understand how humor subverts these conceptual expectations—and, in turn, what our capacity for humor might suggest about the nature of consciousness. Daniel lives in Montreal with his three roommates and one elusive, wretched mouse.

Explaining Jokes and Ruining Them: A Phenomenology of Humor (Or, alternatively: Finally! Ornamented Apes)

“This is what my friend said to me, he said ‘I think the weather's trippy.’ And I said ‘No, man. It's not the weather that's trippy. Perhaps it is the way that we perceive it that is indeed trippy.’ Then I thought, ‘Man, I should have just said... 'Yeah.'’” —Mitch Hedburg

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