It's Funny Because it's True

Johannes Ingvard Lyngsgaard & Daniel Weber

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis is a critical study in satires relationship to the public sphere. The thesis aims to investigate and discuss how satire can be understood as a critical institution in the public sphere. Critical satire has been an uprising phenomenon, and shows such as Den Korte Radioavis and Tæt på sandheden, in Denmark, and American programs like The Daily Show, Last Week Tonight, The Colbert Report have received increasing attention. The thesis uses Habermas theoretical framework of the public sphere, to analyze the state of the public sphere in present society, and use it as a foundation to discuss the satirical praxis’ potential in society. The public sphere has evolved since Habermas wrote his work "The Structure Transformation of the Public Sphere, 1962", and the public sphere in contemporary society possesses challenges, which has given roots to the growth of satire. Satires ability to unfold truths in a public which is confronted with a massive flow of information, involving political spin, countless media news and social media, gives it a critical potential to clarify the public. Through Hannah Arendt and Heidegger, we analyze how satire can let the audience rediscover truth and relate it to common sense through the open region between truth and untruth, an experience that allows us to rethink moral propositions, statement and set structures in society. Under the assumption that satire relates to Hannah Arendt's understanding of common sense, as a movement towards the lived life, the thesis try to illuminate the gap between the public opinion and the private opinion based common upon common sense understood as a six sense evolved through experiences and observations from the lived life.

EducationsMSc in Philosophy, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages104
SupervisorsOle Bjerg