This article addresses two topics related to disgust in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche: (1) how moral disgust is harmful and (2) to what extent moral disgust is conditionally fitting. Nietzsche argues that self-disgust is dangerous because it is characteristic of ascetic morality. Yet disgust is conditionally fitting insofar as it triggers an adverse reaction to ascetic moral systems, or what I have called "disgusting moralities." The first section is a general analysis of the role of self-disgust in the cultivation of ascetic morality. In the second section, I compare this analysis of disgust to two popular contemporary theories of disgust (the Terror Management and Animal-Nature Reminder theories). In the third section, I argue that Nietzsche advocates disgust at certain harmful moral systems. He thinks disgust is a fitting emotion for such moral systems because it causes an immediate adverse reaction. This reaction is fitting, Nietzsche thinks, because such moral systems are infectious. I maintain his view of disgust is compatible with convincing psychological theories of disgust, namely the Entanglement Thesis and Co-Opt Thesis.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 79-105
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.