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Objection

Audiobook
Nonfiction: Social Science
Unabridged   11.75 hour(s)
Publication date: 04/30/2019

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Objection

Disgust, Morality, and the Law

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Audio CD ISBN:9781684573639
Digital Download ISBN:9781684573622

Summary

In Objection, psychologists Debra Lieberman and Carlton Patrick examine disgust and its impact on the legal system to show why the things that we find stomach-turning so often become the things that we render unlawful.

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Product Description

Why do we consider incest wrong, even when it occurs between consenting adults unable to have children? Why are words that gross us out more likely to be deemed "obscene" and denied the protection of the First Amendment?

In Objection, psychologists Debra Lieberman and Carlton Patrick examine disgust and its impact on the legal system to show why the things that we find stomach-turning so often become the things that we render unlawful. Shedding light on the evolutionary and psychological origins of disgust, the authors reveal how ancient human intuitions about what is safe to eat or touch, or who would make an advantageous mate, have become co-opted by moral systems designed to condemn behavior and identify groups of people ripe for marginalization. Over time these moral stances have made their way into legal codes, and disgust has thereby served as the impetus for laws against behaviors almost universally held to be "disgusting" (corpse desecration, bestiality)—and as the implicit justification for more controversial prohibitions (homosexuality, use of pornography). Written with a critical eye on current events, Lieberman and Patrick build a case for a more reasoned approach to lawmaking in a system that often confuses "gross" with "wrong."

Reviews/Praise

"Lieberman (Psychology/Univ. of Miami) and Patrick (Law/Univ. of Central Florida) link together the universal human revulsion at things such as rotting food and diseased flesh with our sense of moral conviction, particularly regarding different types of sexual behavior...The result is an occasionally gross but always engrossing account of how the mind cobbles together seemingly self-evident attitudes out of repurposed, subconscious mental processes. A stimulating treatise on how lofty ideals can grow from primitive, unreliable urges." —Kirkus Starred Review

Author Bio

Debra Lieberman is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Miami, where she is codirector of the Evolution and Human Behavior Laboratory. Dr. Lieberman is a leading researcher in the area of human cognition and behavior from an evolutionary perspective. Carlton Patrick is an Assistant Professor of Legal Studies at the University of Central Florida.