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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 Architecture of Disgust

The Architecture of Disgust

(p.40) (p.41) 3 The Architecture of Disgust
The Meaning of Disgust

Colin McGinn

Oxford University Press

This chapter tries to discern some general patterns of disgust, before turning to the task of finding an explanatory theory. It identifies general characteristics that stand out in all the varieties: disgust is “contact-sensitive”; disgust is a “sense-based” emotion; disgust is, importantly, both an aversive and an attractive emotion; disgust exhibits a self-other asymmetry; disgust is a response to biological, not inanimate, objects; disgust is not, apparently, experienced by animals and small children; disgust can claim to be “encapsulated”; disgustingness is not a secondary quality, defined dispositionally; and disgust often gives rise to comedy and embarrassment.

Keywords:   disgust, contact-sensitivity, sense-based emotion, aversive, self-other asymmetry, embarassment

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