Eighteenth-century German author Georg Lichtenberg said that "the more you know humour, the more you become demanding in fineness." Western humour theory begins with Plato, who attributed to Socrates (as a semi-historical dialogue character) in the Philebus (p.49b) the view that the essence of the ridiculous is an ignorance in the weak, who are thus unable to retaliate when ridiculed.
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The French were slow to adopt the term humour; in French, humeur and humour are still two different words, the former referring to a person's mood or to the archaic concept of the four humours.
As with any art form, the acceptance of a particular style or incidence of humour depends on sociological factors and varies from person to person.
By contrast, more sophisticated forms of humour such as satire require an understanding of its social meaning and context, and thus tend to appeal to a more mature audience.
Many theories exist about what humour is and what social function it serves.
Later, in Greek philosophy, Aristotle, in the Poetics (1449a, pp.