Interviews 1

Future Plans

An agreement has been made with Pyrrhic House for the publication of a series of essays examining a range of subjects from a rationalist perspective, although no date has yet been set. The intention is to continue the idea into a series featuring contributions from other writers, with Alastair as the presiding editor.


Humour Between The Sexes

Leaving aside for this book the questions of why humans have a sense of humour and how it works, Alastair examines instead what happens in practice. What is most likely to make you laugh, and how do men and women differ in their responses?


According to the early drafts this book is going to prove more accessible to the casual reader than the theories but also presents a fair amount of detailed research about what people are finding funny at this point in time. Do men and women really appreciate different forms of humour, or is it just a question of being interested in different subjects? How do men and women react to attempted humour from each other during social interaction, what do they say or do to make each other laugh the most, and what are they doing wrong when it all falls flat?



The Faculty Of Adaptability

Available now   


The Attractive Error

Theories Of Humour

Clarke’s two main books on humour examine the subject from contrary stances, one suggesting that humour is a creative, adaptive faculty responsible for the ingenuity of the human race, the other that it is instead a system for bolstering the brain’s defences against misinformation that might otherwise harm the individual’s chances of survival. Although the theories differ in many aspects, both propose that humour has proven of vital importance in the unique intellectual development that sets the species apart from all others.

Order print or e-book titles from Pyrrhic House

EncyclopediaOf Humor Studies

Clarke’s pattern recognition theory of humour is included within the Encyclopedia of Humor Studies (Sage 2014) edited by Salvatore Attardo. Authored by Clarke, the entry presents the basic tenets of pattern recognition theory and how it contrasts to his information normalization theory.