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Disgust in Bioethics
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics. (CRB Neuroethics)
2012 (English)In: Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, ISSN 0963-1801, E-ISSN 1469-2147, Vol. 21, no 2, 267-280 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We propose to advance the dialogue by clarifying the different ways in which disgust is used when dealing with bio- ethical issues, particularly those issues that relate to new biotechnological developments. We argue that discus- sions involving this concept are mud- dled because of a failure to clarify the particular content of the emotion and its manifestations, or because disputants are using disgust in different ways. We identify here four main uses of the concept of disgust. In some cases, dis- gust is used as an example to illustrate the proper role of emotional sensibility in bioethical thinking. In other cases, disgust is discussed as a possible source of moral knowledge that can help us discern the permissibility of biomedical practices or technologies. Disgust is also used as a rhetorical device to bring forth opposition or rejection of such practices or biotechnological advances. Finally, disgust is used in the bioethics literature as a tool that, on grounds of irrationality or ignorance, allows one to dismiss the concerns of those who appeal to disgust when rejecting new biomedical technologies. Of course, the different uses of disgust are interrelated, and sometimes more than one of these uses is found in the same work. We believe however, that these diverse uses have different normative implications, and thus it is impor-tant to clarify what it is that one wants to achieve when using the concept of disgust. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 21, no 2, 267-280 p.
Keyword [en]
emotions, disgust, biotechnologies
National Category
Humanities
Research subject
Bioethics; Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-317208OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-317208DiVA: diva2:1080820
Available from: 2017-03-11 Created: 2017-03-11 Last updated: 2017-04-24

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