Mortal Feelings: A Theory of Revulsion and the Intimacy of Agency

Dissertation, Syracuse University (2001)

Authors
David Kim
University of San Francisco
Abstract
Moral philosophy has been increasingly concerned with the nature of emotion and its ethical significance. Almost no attention, however, has been paid to disgust, in spite of its evident connections to taboos, exclusionary policies, and severe forms of moral, political, and aesthetic condemnation. This dissertation offers a theory of revulsion. On the basis of this account, it also gives us a way of thinking about intimate or tactile features of moral agency, which play a vital role in maintaining those various practices. ;The analysis begins with a detailed portrait of the expansive and curious realm of disgust and derives from the portrait a set of desiderata by which to build a theory of revulsion. The views of the three primary theorists of disgust are evaluated: the anomaly thesis of the anthropologist Mary Douglas, the animal reminder theory of the empirical psychologist Paul Rozin, and the generative lowliness account of the social historian William Ian Miller. None of these satisfies the desiderata, and they also fail for reasons internal to their own viewpoints. The works of Julia Kristeva on abjection and Noel Carroll on art-horror are also considered. ;Both the portrait and the set of desiderata direct attention upon not just objects commonly deemed to be impure, but pollution processes and the wider emotional dynamics with which they are integrated. Due consideration of these various factors reveals that disgust is generally about carnal disvalue, or somatic unwholesomeness, and paradigmatically about filthiness and its smear. Disgust is so concerned because its phenomenology functions as a foretaste of unhealthiness. And it is aided in its task by a physiognomic structure calibrated to various organic signs taken to indicate deeper somatic defilement. One of the special features of such carnal disvalue is the facility with which it extends to larger and more abstract realms of disvalue, like the morally or aesthetically repulsive. These reflections on revulsion suggest that our mortality is as much about the organic or carnal character of living and dying, as it is cessation of life
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 47,350
External links

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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Moral Disgust.Michael Hauskeller - 2006 - Ethical Perspectives 13 (4):571-602.
Being Appropriately Disgusted.Brian Besong - 2014 - Journal of Value Inquiry 48 (1):131-150.
The Good and the Gross.Alexandra Plakias - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (2):261-278.
Disgust: The Body and Soul Emotion in the 21st Century.P. Rozin, J. Haidt & C. R. McCauley - 2009 - In B. O. Olatunji & D. McKay (eds.), Disgust and its disorders. American Psychological Association. pp. 2008.
Disgust and Moral Taboos.John Kekes - 1992 - Philosophy 67 (262):431 - 446.
Disgust, Moral Disgust, and Morality.Joshua Gert - 2014 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 11 (4):33-54.
Disgust and the Collection of Bovine Fetal Blood.Robert William Fischer - 2014 - In Elisa Aaltola & John Hadley (eds.), Animal Ethics and Philosophy: Questioning the Orthodoxy. Rowman & Littlefield International. pp. 151-164.
Visceral Values: Aurel Kolnai on Disgust.Carolyn Korsmeyer & Barry Smith - 2004 - In Barry Smith & Carolyn Korsmeyer (eds.), Aurel Kolnai's On Disgust. Open Court Publishing Company. pp. 1-23.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-02-04

Total views
0

Recent downloads (6 months)
0

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes

Sign in to use this feature