A historical, philosophical detective story into what makes us human
What does our reaction to the "unmentionable," the "indescribable," and the "repellant" tell us about ourselves? Disgust was once considered our primary emotion, and as a result has fascinated philosophers, scientists, anthropologists and psychologists for centuries.
In a series of colorful scenarios Christopher Turner explores our obsession with repulsion through some of the greatest figures of the modern age. From a dinner party with Immanuel Kant and Charles Darwin's stomach complaints, to how Sigmund Freud used his patient's nightmares to express disgust and why Jean-Paul Sartre saw it as a signature of the world's meaninglessness. Even today, evolutionary biologists are exploring what disgust tells us about who we really are. For as one thinker says, "Anything that reminds us we are animals elicits disgust."