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An exploration of the character and evolution of disgust and the role this emotion plays in our social and moral lives.
People can be disgusted by the concrete and by the abstract by an object they find physically repellent or by an ideology or value system they find morally abhorrent. Different things will disgust different people, depending on individual sensibilities or cultural backgrounds. In Yuck!, Daniel Kelly investigates the character and evolution of disgust, with an emphasis on understanding the role this emotion has come to play in our social and moral lives.
Disgust has recently been riding a swell of scholarly attention, especially from those in the cognitive sciences and those in the humanities in the midst of the "affective turn." Kelly proposes a cognitive model that can accommodate what we now know about disgust. He offers a new account of the evolution of disgust that builds on the model and argues that expressions of disgust are part of a sophisticated but largely automatic signaling system that humans use to transmit information about what to avoid in the local environment. He shows that many of the puzzling features of moral repugnance tinged with disgust are by-products of the imperfect fit between a cognitive system that evolved to protect against poisons and parasites and the social and moral issues on which it has been brought to bear. Kelly's account of this emotion provides a powerful argument against invoking disgust in the service of moral justification.
|Series:||Life and Mind: Philosophical Issues in Biology and Psychology|
|Product dimensions:||5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.50(d)|
About the Author
Daniel Kelly is Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Purdue University.
Table of Contents
1 Toward a Functional Theory of Disgust 11
2 Poisons and Parasites: The Entanglement Thesis and the Evolution of Disgust 43
3 Disgust's Sentimental Signaling System: Expression, Recognition, and the Transmission of Cultural Information 61
4 Disgust and Moral Psychology: Tribal Instincts and the Co-opt Thesis 101
5 Disgust and Normative Ethics: The Irrelevance of Repugnance and Dangers of Moralization 137
What People are Saying About This
"In the minds of those with an intellectual interest in psychology, disgust was once just another item listed in the standard catalog of emotions. Over the past decade or so disgust has oozed its way to the forefront and is now seen as one of the most fascinating and revealing aspects of human psychology. Synthesizing psychological, evolutionary, and philosophical perspectives,Kelly's book is by far the best focused study of the topic available." Richard Joyce, Professor of Philosophy, Victoria University of Wellington, and author of TheMyth of Morality and The Evolution of Morality
Entertaining and explanatory. Enough to disgust the prudes and thrill the salacious. I did not know how many foods I will never eat and practices I will never follow. This is a terrific read with a genuine underlying moral seriousness. Highly recommended!
In the minds of those with an intellectual interest in psychology, disgust was once just another item listed in the standard catalog of emotions. Over the past decade or so disgust has oozed its way to the forefront and is now seen as one of the most fascinating and revealing aspects of human psychology. Synthesizing psychological, evolutionary, and philosophical perspectives, Kelly's book is by far the best focused study of the topic available.
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