- vol.7, no.1, pp.1-11, 2006-06-15
A great Greek philosopher, Aristotle once said that laughing is a nature of human beings. Since then, agreat number of scholars such as philosophers, linguists, psychologists, literati, and writers have tried toexamine the mechanisms of laughter from their unique viewpoints, although a satisfactory explanation of thecause of laughter has not yet been made. In this paper, I first presented the classification of laughing intoseveral types such as a pleasurable laughter, a social smile, and so on, from phylogenetic and ontogeneticperspectives. Then, I overviewed various interpretations of the cause of laughter from philosophical,linguistic, and psychoanalytic viewpoints, presenting concrete examples of wit, humors and jokes,whichleads to an investigation of how and why people could laugh. Finally, the mechanisms of a smile andlaughter an a physiological level were discussed in terms of the brain systems and its relation to facialexpressions.