Repugnance as Performance Error: The Role of Disgust in Bioethical Intuitions

In Steve Clarke, Julian Savulescu, C. A. J. Coady, Alberto Giubilini & Sagar Sanyal (eds.), The Ethics of Human Enhancement: Understanding the Debate. Oxford University Press. pp. 43-57 (2016)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
An influential argument in bioethics involves appeal to disgust, calling on us to take it seriously as a moral guide (e.g. Kass, Miller, Kahan). Some argue, for example, that genetic enhancement, especially via human reproductive cloning, is repellant or grotesque. While objectors have argued that repugnance is morally irrelevant (e.g. Nussbaum, Kelly), I argue that the problem is more fundamental: it is psychologically irrelevant. Examining recent empirical data suggests that disgust’s influence on moral judgment may be like fatigue: an exogenous influence, yielding a “performance error” that does not reflect our understanding of moral matters. This conclusion also challenges appeals to repugnance on other topics (such as homosexuality) and generally downplays the importance of disgust in moral discourse.
Categories
PhilPapers/Archive ID
MAYRAP-2
Revision history
Archival date: 2018-07-08
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2018-07-08

Total downloads
9 ( #32,234 of 33,079 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
9 ( #25,824 of 33,079 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.