American Professor of Philosophy, Author, Archduchess
While the scientist, on the one hand, is concerned with giving a faithful description of facts, on the other, he has the equally important task of construing them in relation to some explanatory conjecture. Similarly the historian has a double duty: both of reporting the past as nearly as possible as it passed or was lived through by men at the time (without doctoring up events to fit later developments or some more "enlightened reading" of them); and second, of interpreting their import in the light of a present hypothesis.
While it may not heighten our sympathy, wit widens our horizons by its flashes, revealing remote hidden affiliations and drawing laughter from far afield; humor, in contrast, strikes up fellow feeling, and though it does not leap so much across time and space, enriches our insight into the universal in familiar things, lending it a local habitation and a name.
Whereas the comic confronts simply logical contradictions, the tragic confronts a moral predicament. Not minor matters of true and false but crucial questions of right and wrong, good and evil face the tragic character in a tragic situation.