Moral Disgust

Ethical Perspectives 13 (4):571-602 (2006)
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Disgust is often believed to have no special moral relevance. However, there are situations where disgust and similar feelings like revulsion, repugnance, or abhorrence function as the expression of a very strong moral disapproval that cannot fully be captured by argument. I call this kind of disgust moral disgust.Although it is always in principle possible to justify our moral disgust by explaining what it is in a given situation or action that disgusts us, the feeling of disgust often comes first and either draws our attention to the fact that there is something wrong in the first place, or makes us aware that the kind of wrongness we are dealing with surpasses what can be accounted for by established moral theory. In both cases moral disgust serves an important purpose for an adequate moral evaluation of diverse situations and the actions from which they result



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Michael Hauskeller
University of Liverpool

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