Does Disgust Influence Moral Judgment?

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (1):125-141 (2014)
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Abstract

Recent empirical research seems to show that emotions play a substantial role in moral judgment. Perhaps the most important line of support for this claim focuses on disgust. A number of philosophers and scientists argue that there is adequate evidence showing that disgust significantly influences various moral judgments. And this has been used to support or undermine a range of philosophical theories, such as sentimentalism and deontology. I argue that the existing evidence does not support such arguments. At best it suggests something rather different: that moral judgment can have a minor emotive function, in addition to a substantially descriptive one

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Joshua May
University of Alabama, Birmingham

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