Tuesday, January 17, 2023

"Perpetrator Disgust"

New from Oxford University Press: Perpetrator Disgust: The Moral Limits of Gut Feelings by Ditte Marie Munch-Jurisic.

About the book, from the publisher:

What is the significance of our gut feelings? In this volume, Munch-Jurisic considers this question through the phenomenon of perpetrator disgust. Across time and cultures, individuals who have committed atrocities have been known to exhibit severe emotional and physical distress during the act of violence or upon recalling it, with symptoms as severe as vomiting and convulsions. Munch-Jurisic explores whether such responses reflect a moral judgment on the part of the perpetrator and asks what conclusions we can draw about the relationship of our gut feelings to human nature, cognition, and moral frameworks.

Drawing on a broad range of historical examples of perpetrator disgust and the latest philosophical and scientific research on emotions, Munch-Jurisic argues that gut feelings do not carry a straightforward and transparent intentionality in themselves, nor do they motivate any core, specific response. Instead, she suggests, they are templates that can embody a broad range of values and morals. With this core insight, she proposes a contextual understanding of emotions, by which an agent's environment shapes their available hermeneutic equipment (such as concepts, categories, and names) that an agent relies on to understand their emotions and navigate the world.

Grounded in empirical evidence and historical context, Perpetrator Disgust explores intriguing new avenues of inquiry in moral psychology and promises to be of interest to any student or scholar of philosophy, psychology, or sociology whose research considers violence, ethics, or emotions.
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--Marshal Zeringue