Amoralism and jokes


type and token
ethics and morality

How to Cite

Josl, J. (2024). Amoralism and jokes. The European Journal of Humour Research, 12(2), 197–205.


Is it possible to joke about everything? Are there topics that we should not joke about? Is it possible to say which jokes are good and which are wrong or are jokes simply beyond good and evil? This issue seems to be more pressing in today’s multicultural world. In this study I reason contrary to amoralism that there are some jokes that can be morally judged. In order to present my argument, I use the type and token distinction as well as the results of debate between Bartel and Cremaldi and Brandon Cooke’s arguments in the favour of amoralism in art in general. I argue that even though amoralism is right in the case of joke types as well as in the case of some joke tokens not all jokes are fictive utterances. Therefore, the study concludes that it is reasonable to morally assess certain joke utterances.


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