Three concepts of monstrosity

What is a monster? At least three concepts have been proposed: Aristotle thinks a monster to be a “mistake of purpose” in nature; Noël Carroll thinks a monster to be a scientifically impossible being that arouses disgust and fear; Cynthia Freeland thinks a monster to be an evil being. Thus a two-headed calf is an Aristotelian monster; a werewolf a monster on Carroll’s definition; and Norman Bates of Hitchcock’s Psycho a monster on Freeland’s concept. These have no interesting overlaps.”

So wrote Robert (Bob) Yanal, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Wayne State University, Detroit, in the journal Contemporary Aesthetics, Volume 1, 2003, ‘Two Monsters in Search of a Concept’

The professor’s website, featuring many other publications and photos, can be found at