Sometimes Philosophers Make You Laugh

DescartesCan you tell what Rene Descartes is describing here? I bet you’ll laugh once you figure it out. (Courtesy of Iain McGilchrist)

[This] results when the blood coming from the right-hand cavity of the heart through the central arterial vein causes the lungs to swell up suddenly and repeatedly, forcing the air they contain to rush out through the windpipe, where it forms an inarticulate, explosive sound. As the air is expelled, the lungs are swollen so much that they push against all the muscles of the diaphragm, chest and throat, thus causing movement in the facial muscles with which these organs are connected. And it is just this facial expression, together with the inarticulate and explosive sound, that we call [X].

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