Handling the Cases

Colin McGinn

in The Meaning of Disgust

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199829538
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919482 | DOI:
Handling the Cases

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This chapter surveys the class of disgusting things to see how well the death-in-life theory can deal with the data. It concludes that the theory makes intelligible sense of the data of disgust. A common thread can be seen running through the domain of disgusting things—their principle of cohesion. The core cases exhibit the principle clearly, while the other cases shade off to a penumbra. The grouping is not arbitrary or wildly disjunctive, but reflects a single conceptual structure, with variations and extensions. To be disgusting is to meet certain well-defined conditions. Thus, we have arrived at an analysis of the concept of disgust; or again, we have discovered the essence of disgusting things. We now know what it is that makes something disgusting.

Keywords: death-in-life theory; disgust; disgusting things; cohesion

Chapter.  9580 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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