David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (2):261-278 (2013)
Recent empirical studies have established that disgust plays a role in moral judgment. The normative significance of this discovery remains an object of philosophical contention, however; ‘disgust skeptics’ such as Martha Nussbaum have argued that disgust is a distorting influence on moral judgment and has no legitimate role to play in assessments of moral wrongness. I argue, pace Nussbaum, that disgust’s role in the moral domain parallels its role in the physical domain. Just as physical disgust tracks physical contamination and pollution, so moral disgust tracks social contamination. I begin by examining the arguments for skepticism about disgust and show that these arguments threaten to overgeneralize and lead to a widespread skepticism about the justifiability of our moral judgments. I then look at the positive arguments for according disgust a role in moral judgment, and suggest that disgust tracks invisible social contagions in much the same way as it tracks invisible physical contagions, thereby serving as a defense against the threat of socio-moral contamination.
|Keywords||Disgust Moral judgment Emotion Cognition|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Justin D'Arms & Daniel Jacobson (2000). The Moralistic Fallacy: On the ”Appropriateness' of Emotions. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (1):65--90.
John M. Doris & Dominic Murphy (2007). From My Lai to Abu Ghraib: The Moral Psychology of Atrocity. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 31 (1):25–55.
Joshua Gert (2005). Neo-Sentimentalism and Disgust. Journal of Value Inquiry 39 (3):345-352.
Patrick Grim, Evan Selinger, William Braynen, Robert Rosenberger, Randy Au, Nancy Louie & John Connolly (2005). Modeling Prejudice Reduction: Spatialized Game Theory and the Contact Hypothesis. Public Affairs Quarterly 19 (2):95-125.
Jonathan Haidt (2001). The Emotional Dog and Its Rational Tail. Psychological Review 108 (4):Psychological Review.
Citations of this work BETA
Similar books and articles
David Pizarro, Yoel Inbar & Chelsea Helion (2011). On Disgust and Moral Judgment. Emotion Review 3 (3):267-268.
John Deigh (2006). The Politics of Disgust and Shame. Journal of Ethics 10 (4):383 - 418.
Marta Gil (2013). Review of Daniel Kelly: Yuck! The Nature and Moral Significance of Disgust. [REVIEW] Neuroethics 6 (1):221-223.
David Archard (2008). Disgust, Offensiveness and the Law. Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (4):314-321.
Carolyn Korsmeyer (2010). Savoring Disgust: The Foul and the Fair in Aesthetics. Oxford University Press.
Michelle Meagher (2003). Jenny Saville and a Feminist Aesthetics of Disgust. Hypatia 18 (4):23-41.
Thom Brooks (2007). Hiding From Humanity: Disgust, Shame, and the Law. Journal of Applied Philosophy 24 (3):329–331.
Carolyn Parkinson, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Philipp E. Koralus, Angela Mendelovici, Victoria McGeer & Thalia Wheatley (2011). Is Morality Unified? Evidence That Distinct Neural Systems Underlie Moral Judgments of Harm, Dishonesty, and Disgust. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 23 (10):3162-3180.
A. D. Block & S. E. Cuypers (2012). Why Darwinians Should Not Be Afraid of Mary Douglas--And Vice Versa: The Case of Disgust. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 42 (4):459-488.
Christopher Knapp (2003). De-Moralizing Disgustingness. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (2):253–278.
Tiziana Zalla, Luca Barlassina, Marine Buon & Marion Leboyer (2011). Moral Judgment in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Cognition 121 (1):115-126.
Richard Arneson (2007). Shame, Stigma, and Disgust in the Decent Society. Journal of Ethics 11 (1):31 - 63.
Ellen K. Feder (2011). Tilting the Ethical Lens: Shame, Disgust, and the Body in Question. Hypatia 26 (3):632-650.
Added to index2012-01-19
Total downloads91 ( #12,422 of 1,096,612 )
Recent downloads (6 months)15 ( #9,214 of 1,096,612 )
How can I increase my downloads?