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Stop Me If You've Heard This: A History and Philosophy of Jokes

by Jim Holt

"Finally I understand what it is I've been laughing at all these years."--Jimmy Kimmel From the best-selling author of Why Does the World Exist? comes this outrageous, uproarious compendium of absurdity, filth, racy paradox, and gratuitous offensiveness--just the kind of mature philosophical reflection readers have come to expect from the ever-entertaining Jim Holt. Indeed, Stop Me If You've Heard This is the first book to trace the evolution of the joke all the way from the standup comics of ancient Athens to the comedy-club Seinfelds of today. After exploring humor's history in Part One, Holt delves into philosophy in Part Two: Wall Street jokes; jokes about rednecks and atheists, bulimics and politicians; jokes you missed if you didn't go to a Catholic girls' school; jokes about logic and existence itself . . . all became fodder for the grand theories of Aristotle, Kant, Freud, and Wittgenstein in this heady mix of the high and low, of the ribald and profound, from America's most beloved philosophical pundit.

Why Does the World Exist? An Existential Detective Story

by Jim Holt

The metaphysical mystery of how we came into existence remains the most fractious and fascinating questions of all time. The brilliant yet slyly humorous Jim Holt examines our latest efforts to grasp the origins of the universe, contending that we have been too narrow in limiting our suspects to God versus the Big Bang. The result is Why Does the World Exist? -- a work that becomes philosophy in its own right. Book jacket.

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