Recently the Purdue University newspaper The Exponent sat down with a philosophy professor there, Daniel Kelly, for a brief interview on his forthcoming book “Yuck! The Nature and Moral Significance of Disgust.” I’d not previously heard of Kelly’s work, but it looks interesting. Take a look:

1) How did you become interested in the topic of disgust?

Part of what got me interested in philosophy in the first place were questions about what makes people tick, how humans are continuous, but also distinct from other creatures in nature, and (of course) What It All Means. While I was in graduate school, exciting new research was taking place at the intersection of philosophy and the cognitive sciences, specifically in moral psychology. As I looked into that, I saw that some of the most interesting work was exploring the surprising link between disgust and morality. It was a promising area for the type of conceptual contributions a philosopher could make, too, since it seemed that people from different disciplines and perspectives where saying things about the emotion that were equally plausible, but that also looked incompatible with each other.