All of us when see a laughable comedy star, for example: a fatty actor having a laughable face, i.e: physically laughable whose appearance makes us smile or laugh, we feel happiness and joy. Does this mean that the laughable is beautiful?.

I searched online trying to find something said by some philosophers regarding this point (Laughable person=Beautiful person) I didn't find.

I mean that in the Ideal world, isn't supposed for all people to be beautiful- the standard type of Beauty?, I mean all people, not a lot of them.

Standard type of Beauty of a person is that: when we see the face, hair, body of this person we say: [he is beautiful], not: [he is laughable].

Laughable=Makes us smile or laugh.

In the ideal world, if all people are beautiful, this means there will no be laughable persons, so how can we produce comedian drama, movies and plays. I mean that a type of arts can not be produced properly now.

  • Which sources have you tried to find an answer? How did this question occur to you? As it stands, the question lacks some context and substance which allows for a specific answer. Mind, there are so many texts on comedy and the beautiful (starting from ancient greek and before) that they could fill libraries.
    – Philip Klöcking
    Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 11:24
  • So many texts that didn't mention if Laughable=Beautiful, or not?.
    – salah
    Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 13:57
  • 1
    Did you check plato.stanford.edu/entries/humor/#HumPlaLauPlaSig ?
    – Philip Klöcking
    Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 14:34
  • Thanks for comment - my answer deleted as irrelevant
    – Geoffrey Thomas
    Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 17:04
  • 1
    Thanks @geoffreythomas. More and more I suspect a non English speaker struggling. Salah: What if you put "beautiful" "lovable" "laughable" in a line?
    – Rushi
    Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 10:13

5 Answers 5


It's an interesting question. It will depend on your underlying theory of humor and aesthetics. I don't know any theory of humor and aesthetics that matches up the humorous person and the beautiful. Philosophers have traditionally had a much more subterranean understanding of humor than that. I can give you an example of a theory in which your formula definitely does not hold up: Schopenhauer's theory of humor.

Schopenhauer offered the theory that humor consists in seeing the discrepancy between the Idea (which for him are paradigms, Ideals in the Platonic sense) and the reality. For example, we imagine Charlie Chaplin engaging in slapstick comedy. What's humorous is precisely the discrepancy between Chaplin's antics and the Ideal.

I mean laughter… . The cause of laughter in every case is simply the sudden perception of the incongruity between a concept and the real objects which have been thought through it in some relation, and laughter itself is just the expression of this incongruity (The World as Will and Representation, Book I, sec. 13).

That the laughter of others at what we do or say seriously offends us so keenly depends on the fact that it asserts that there is a great incongruity between our conceptions and the objective realities. For the same reason, the predicate “ludicrous” or “absurd” is insulting. The laugh of scorn announces with triumph to the baffled adversary how incongruous were the conceptions he cherished with the reality which is now revealing itself to him (Supplement to Book I, Ch. 8).

Hence, the funny person is funny insofar as he fails to measure up to Ideals like beauty.

You may want to study some different theories of humor. From there, it would be an enlightening exercise to see if any of them are compatible (or can be made compatible) with your formula.

EDIT: I tried to carry out a phenomenology of humor and abandoned the project after finding it too difficult. The deepest commentary on laughter I have read personally is Kierkegaard's analysis of farce in Repetition.

  • The question is definitely about (Is the laughable person considers a beautiful?). Why I ask that question?. That's because there's sequences depending upon this.
    – salah
    Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 21:32
  • @salah I don't understand what you're trying to say there. I was answering the question whether any theories of humor and the beautiful endorse the thesis that the laughable person = the beautiful person. Commented Oct 7, 2019 at 16:35
  • +1. i wonder what modernism says on the difference Idea /reality (And bueaty)
    – user38026
    Commented Oct 7, 2019 at 18:04
  • @salah The answer talks about what English speakers normally understand under the term "laughable", i.e. the comedic expression or look. I have the impression that you are rather trying to ask whether a person that cheers us up more generally simply by looking at them, where looking at them makes us feel better, is necessarily also a beautiful person. In other words, whether only looking at beauty can cheer us up. But even if so, the answer clearly states the contrary, based on philosophical theory.
    – Philip Klöcking
    Commented Oct 10, 2019 at 20:57
  • @PhilipKlöcking Good point, I may have misunderstood the question. Commented Oct 11, 2019 at 0:38

This is a difficult question because it is in some respects unclear, as the comments register.

No bi-conditional

I assume you don't integrate the two notions : whatever is comic (laughter-making) is beautiful; and whatever is beautiful is comic. You are concerned, I take it, with the first bit: whatever is comic is beautiful.

The comedic and the beautiful

A comedy could be beautiful by virtue of its structure, its elegance of development, its language, or perhaps the perfection with which it is acted. None of these features would make it an enjoyable, happiness-making comedy, however. One might leave the theatre or turn off the television with a sense that one had seen or heard a beautiful play (by the above criteria) which comedically fell completely flat, something that evoked the aesthetic appreciation of beauty but raised not the ghost of a smile.

Equally, the merest slapstick, disorganised and mumbled with poor vocabulary, could make one split one's sides with laughter without one's having any grounds or inclination to call it 'beautiful'.

Notionem tesserae (bits of impressions)

I am not sure quite how to respond to your remark about everyone's being beautiful in an ideal world. Your main question is about the connexion between comedy (an art form) and beauty (an aesthetic attribute) and I have suggested that comedy and beauty are in this perspective pretty much independent of each other. But to take up the point : if a performer is beautiful, I might or might not feel happiness and joy in their presence. My aesthetic reaction may be more detached and contemplative. And I may feel happiness and joy in the presence of a person quite lacking in beauty of any kind.

These are lines of thought, fragments of ideas, triggered by your question rather than an answer. An answer would need a differently worded, more precise and focused, question to which to respond.

It has been fun responding, even so. So thanks.

  • Excuse me, I am not talking about Arts and Comedy as a type of Arts. I am talking about Laughable persons, are they Beautiful?. I clarified that now. But your answer is important also.
    – salah
    Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 16:38
  • Thanks for a serious thoughtful answer to a serious inept question on non-seriousness. More comments below question
    – Rushi
    Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 10:19
  • @salah Aren't you having it both ways? Your first line of question talks of comedy stars and now you say no to that
    – Rushi
    Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 10:48
  • Please don't answer 100% subjective questions like this, you set a bad example for other users. Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 13:30
  • I tried to approach the question philosophically by considering relations between the concepts of the comedic and the beautiful. I don't regard such relations as '100% subjective.'
    – Geoffrey Thomas
    Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 13:37

Beauty has always been deemed subjective, that it lies in the eye of the beholder. That much has been made clear to us.

So, OP, irrespective of if that said laughable person can be objectively regarded beautiful or not. If you(one) thought he/she was indeed, he/she eternally will remain so. Why? For you would make them feel as though.

As beauty is still an ever-growing, non-stagnating concept after all.

  • Most philosophical aesthetics deemed beauty a thing of accordance with nature/rationality. In other words, your first statement is questionable, if not outright wrong. You could improve the post by bolstering it with texts that support your points.
    – Philip Klöcking
    Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 18:21
  • If you have references to sources that take a similar view this would help support your answer and provide the reader with a place to go for more information. Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 18:29
  • Popular sayings are not exactly philosophy. From Greek antiquity over Da Vinci, Kant, up to Bourdieu: Philosophy mostly held beauty to be the natural, the symmetrical, the rational. The "beauty is subjective" strand is a minority in philosophical aesthetics.
    – Philip Klöcking
    Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 18:32
  • That's astounding. Never heard of the popular adage?! Utterly perplexing. About 15,00,000 results on Google backs my claim. What has Sir @PhilipKlöcking got?
    – Bao
    Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 18:32
  • Just because some poor, good soul didn't deem appropriate to take credit for it, doesn't make it any less valid, dear Sir @PhilipKlöcking. Also, adage (/ˈædɪdʒ/; Latin: adagium) is a concise, memorable, and usually philosophical aphorism
    – Bao
    Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 18:34

In an analysis of Chaplin's comedic cinema, the modernist poet Luis Zukofsky seems to claim Chaplin's films are art, by them having thoughtfulness and so historical meaning. Chaplin is working himself out in his performances.

But not everyone that makes us laugh has his "perspicuity of style (Prepositions+ p57)".

Whether we can appreciate beauty without having a sense of humour may be the more philosophical question.

  • 1
    thanks to your answer. I am so sorry, my question, I think became very clear. I am not talking about normal person who do things that make me laugh. I am talking about abnormal person whose shape and appearance makes me laugh. I am not talking at the start about comedy. comedy comes as sequence in the Ideal world.
    – salah
    Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 22:49
  • ah ok, my apologies salah. not sure i can answer about why we might find the physically ugly funny. maybe we protect ourselves in doing so? you could look into late modernists like wyndham lewis or sam beckett @salah
    – user38026
    Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 22:51

I suppose you are getting at the psychological fact that we can respond to cruelty towards us by mocking the victor, get a kick out of being abused. A lot of it is class, i.e. a malfunctioning, if not barbaric, society. From the perspective of the clown, you'd want them to be thoughtful. From the perspective of the ugly, you would want them to enjoy it, I'd have thought.

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