Do recipes for moist cakes make your skin clammy? Did that article about hardscrabble pugilists leave you nauseated? Do you feel super-embarrassed (YT) when you have to say completely innocent words like onus or cunning or bean curd out loud? Or even in writing? If so, you are far from alone! Word aversion, or logomisia, is an extremely common phenomenon that affects up to one in five (links to PDF) of us, and it's extremely contagious. [more inside]
Who Farts? And Who Cares? "Sociologists Martin Weinberg and Colin Williams wanted to know. They and their team interviewed 172 college students about their habits and concerns about farting and pooping. They published their results in an article called Fecal Matters. They discovered that everybody farts and everybody cares, but not everyone cares all the time or equally." [more inside]
"The researchers found that conservatives tend to react more strongly to disgusting images having increased activity in regions of their brain that are involved in processing disgust and regulating emotion. The liberals, on the other hand, had increased activity in different brain regions." Study
Disclaimer (Autoplay MP3): "Very Bad Wizards is a podcast with a philosopher, my dad, and a psychologist, Dave Pizarro, having an informal discussion about issues in science and ethics. Please note that the discussion contains bad words that I'm not allowed to say, and knowing my dad, some very inappropriate jokes." Favorite themes include responsibility and revenge, agency and utilitarianism, dishonesty and character, empathy and offensiveness. [more inside]
The Delights Of Disgust
I confess I am disgusted by a great many things about people (and about myself, but let's put that aside). I do not believe it is particularly urgent for me to overcome my disgust, even if I recognize that this emotion must remain entirely separate from my thinking about which laws would be most just. I am disgusted by other people's dandruff, facial moles, food stuck in their beards, yet I do not accept that in feeling this way I am judging those people to be subhuman. I take it rather that humanity, while endearing, is also capable of appearing disgusting.[more inside]
I Went to the Pre-Oscar Celebrity Gifting Suites and All I Got Was This Sense of Disgust [more inside]
How wrong is it to use a kitten for personal sexual pleasure? Depends on whether you've washed your hands.
Researchers have demonstrated what veteran dumpster divers have known for years: contact with a disgusting thing, even without the possibility of contamination, makes us perceive something as disgusting.
You stink, therefore I am. Philosophers and psychologists have been studying the science of disgust, and its proper place in the law. Leon Kass, the chairman of the president's council on bioethics, cites "the wisdom of repugnance" in arguing against cloning. More recently, Martha Nussbaum has written a new book, "Hiding from Humanity: Disgust, Shame, and the Law," which rejects disgust as a moral guide. She has also written on the role of disgust in the mutilations of women in Gujarat.
Disgust is universal it seems. Can anyone think of any other universal disgusts out there?