more from Thomas Hobbes

Single Idea 6211

[catalogued under 1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 8. Humour]

Full Idea

The passion of laughter is nothing else but sudden glory arising from some sudden conception of some eminency in ourselves, by comparison with the infirmity of others, or with our own formerly.

Gist of Idea

Laughter is a sudden glory in realising the infirmity of others, or our own formerly


Thomas Hobbes (Human Nature [1640], Ch.IX.13)

Book Reference

'British Moralists 1650-1800 Vol. 1', ed/tr. Raphael,D.D. [Hackett 1991], p.10

A Reaction

Laughter tends to involve something unusual. We don't just burst out with a glory of vanity whenever we meet some inferiority in another person.