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Cody Brooks: Justifying the ‘Yuck Factor’: Disgust Revisited

Senior Supervisor: Evan Tiffany
Second Reader: Nicolas Smyth

Thursday, December 19, 2019 | 12:30 pm| WMC 5602

 

Abstract is below. A copy of the full paper can be viewed at the General Office.

Just how moral is moral disgust? In the past decade we appear to have crept steadily towards consensus on this question. According to a growing number of philosophers, disgust is irrelevant to our moral thinking and, when relied on, we run the risk of being led severely morally astray. In this paper, I subject this growing consensus to scrutiny by challenging an argument against moral disgust that has been made by Daniel Kelly. In perhaps the most thorough take-down of the emotion currently available, Kelly argues that moral disgust is unreliable as an indicator of moral truth and is irrelevant to moral justification. In what follows, I suggest that even if disgust is an unreliable path to moral truth, some reliance on the emotion may still be justified – specifically if one is of low socio-economic standing.