Homo ridens versus homo sapiens

  1. Stefan Czyżewski


Homo Ridens versus Homo Sapiens

The somewhat provocative idea of laughing and thinking as opposition was used in the title as the starting thesis for the article which then analyses the details. The result of the analysis will be the reversal of the thesis. Does this opposition really existIs or rather it is merely the result of intellectual reflection on issues relating to human behavior? The question is both rhetorical and valid. The analysis of this issue is dominated by adoptation of the perspective of homo ludens as the cultural basis of the human activity. Distant background for this essay is Huizinga’s theory connected with the ludic elements in all forms of human activity. The conclusion is that ‘ludic equals cultural’. The essay does not include detailed polemics with the Great Dutchman. As starting point, however, it includes the idea of functioning of art through the use of sapiens element and the existence of ludens element only in some art forms. The functioning of art based on the sapiens category does not need the prove becaus it is based on artistic convention and all its hypothetical and real (often spectacular) problems connected with art – both ex ante and ex post. It is true in the context of art-producers and the cunsumers of art. The main idea of the essay is a the paradox : the sapiens category in the field of art includes a particular type of actions that also exploit, so to speak – in depth the ludens category, but the actions do not refer to a simple reaction generating emotional psyche tipical to the ridens category. These activities are connected with the isolated and relatively small number of customers; only those, who are able to consciously open the ridens category as the result of ratiocinatio. The final effect is the same as an emotional state for ridens but in the second stage; the paradox lies in the result of exceeding the simple reaction of the psyche, extended to forms of the actions of intelligens category. The essay is based on the examples of paintings from metalinguistic images by Gijsbrechts, the automatism by Rubens and Velasquez, automatic-metalingistic paintings by surrealists (Dali and Magritte), to obvious in this context opart experiments, as conscious intellectual jokes. A slight widening of the background of these considerations form the examples from other fields of art, literature and film.


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Dyskurs. Pismo Naukowo-Artystyczne ASP we Wrocławiu

19, 2015

Pages from 26 to 62

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