Picture of two heads

Open Access research that challenges the mind...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

Discover more...

Learning to laugh : children and being human in early modern thought

Fudge, Erica (2003) Learning to laugh : children and being human in early modern thought. Textual Practice, 17 (2). pp. 277-294.

[img]
Preview
PDF
Learning_to_Laugh_TP.pdf - Final Published Version

Download (129kB) | Preview

Abstract

This essay explores the construction of the human in early modern English thought, and uses discussions of the nature and use of laughter as a distinguishing feature of humanity from classical arguments as well as early modern ones. Using these classical, reformed English discussions of education and of the nature of children reveals an anxiety about the status of the child. Laughing appropriately - using tile mind and not merely the body - is a key feature of being human, and as such, the child's lack of "true' laughter reveals that child's status to be never always-already human. "Human' is a created rather than merely a natural status.