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The Meaning of Disgust$
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Colin McGinn

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199829538

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199829538.001.0001

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The Aversive Emotions

The Aversive Emotions

Chapter:
(p.2) (p.3) 1 The Aversive Emotions
Source:
The Meaning of Disgust
Author(s):

Colin McGinn

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199829538.003.0001

This chapter sketches out a map of the territory, assembling the data and enunciating some distinctive features, with the ultimate aim of producing a theory of what unites the class of disgusting things: what all and only disgusting things have in common. It surveys the class of disgusting things and attempts to work out what brings them together in the emotion they provoke: what properties do disgusting things have that make them produce the emotion of disgust in us? It follows Aurel Kolnai's pioneering phenomenological study, On Disgust, in classifying disgust as an aversive emotion, belonging together with fear and hatred. It is argued that disgust is a sui generis aversive emotion, importantly different from its aversive cousins. And this uniqueness is what makes it peculiarly problematic philosophically.

Keywords:   disgust, disgusting things, aversive emotion, fear, hatred

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