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The Meaning of Disgust

Colin McGinn


Disgust has a strong claim to be a distinctively human emotion. But what is it to be disgusting? What unifies the class of disgusting things? This book sets out to analyze the content of disgust, arguing that life and death are implicit in its meaning. Disgust is a kind of philosophical emotion, reflecting the human attitude to the biological world. Yet it is an emotion we strive to repress. It may have initially arisen as a method of curbing voracious human desire, which itself results from our powerful imagination. Because we feel disgust towards ourselves as a species, we are placed in a fr ... More

Keywords: disgust, disgusting, human desire, emotion, revulsion, death, disgust consciousness

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780199829538
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199829538.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Colin McGinn, author