Abstract I argue that the unthought philosophical bias in favor of seriousness and sense rather than nonsense and joking blocks the path to reality. Because of this bias we obsess over significant signs and forget to consider what signs are signs of; we lose sight of the forest because there are so many interesting trees. Through a thoroughgoing interrogation of signs or appearances, we can reveal what it is that all signs present or represent: the underlying real joke. Once the “sensible bias” of philosophy is overcome and the sense of nonsense restored, we can reveal the object of ontology—the Kantian noumenon—and, therefore, understand the necessary order of signification or representation. In this way, I argue, we can come to be equally amused by all appearances, recognizing that their deceptive character is necessitated by the playful nature of the real thing which, qua joke, provokes amusement.

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