Disgust: On the Existential and Social-Moral Aspects of a "Mortal Emotion"

CFS Lecture by Sara Heinämaa, Dept. of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of Jyväskylä, Finland.

Disgust: On the Existential and Social-Moral Aspects of a "Mortal Emotion" 

This paper explicates the intentional structure of the emotion of disgust. It argues against cognitivistic and projectivistic accounts according to which the core phenomenon, at the heart of disgust, is human mortality and vulnerability. Drawing from the phenomenological tradition, the paper demonstrates that disgust is more complex than just a rejection of death or decay, or whatever is associate with death or decay. Rather than being aroused by death-related phenomena, disgust responds to extravagant and disproportional intertwining of life and death. The paper ends by discussing the social and political implications of this alternative analysis.