At first glance, humor is easy to define. Humor is what causes amusement, mirth, a spontaneous smile and laughter. And humor, it seems, is a distinctly human phenomenon “pour ce que rire est le propre de l’homme” [because to laugh is proper to man], in François Rabelais’ phrase. Yet modern research does not confirm this prima facie simplicity. While humor is intimately related to laughter, it is not true that humor and laughter are equally proper to man. One short way to elucidate the concept of humor is precisely by analyzing its relation to laughter.
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