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Choice, Desire, and Disgust

Jeff Smeland '14

Faculty sponsor: Janet McCracken

Abstract

Disgust is, arguably, our most powerful boundary-setting emotion. With the help of William Ian Millers’ “The Anatomy of Disgust,” I explore disgust as an essential and primal emotion, its power to curb our desires, and our ability to simply will disgust away. Disgust in its simplest manifestation keeps us from combining things we ought not; ketchup and chocolate, for instance. Disgust, as self-disgust, keeps us from acting upon forbidden desires. Finally, I discuss our ability to ignore disgust entirely, despite the overwhelming power it typically has in prohibiting certain kinds of actions.

 
Apr 9th, 10:00 AM Apr 9th, 10:20 AM

Choice, Desire, and Disgust

Library 205

Disgust is, arguably, our most powerful boundary-setting emotion. With the help of William Ian Millers’ “The Anatomy of Disgust,” I explore disgust as an essential and primal emotion, its power to curb our desires, and our ability to simply will disgust away. Disgust in its simplest manifestation keeps us from combining things we ought not; ketchup and chocolate, for instance. Disgust, as self-disgust, keeps us from acting upon forbidden desires. Finally, I discuss our ability to ignore disgust entirely, despite the overwhelming power it typically has in prohibiting certain kinds of actions.