Culinary products have culinary value. That is, they have value qua culinary products. However, what is the nature of culinary value and what elements determine it? In the light of the central and universal role that culinary products play in our lives, offering a philosophical analysis of culinary value is a matter of interest. This paper attempts to do just this. It develops three different possible models of culinary value, two rather restricted ones and a third more encompassing one, rejects (...) the first two, and defends the third one. (shrink)
This book offers a sustained, interdisciplinary examination of taste. It addresses a range of topics that have been at the heart of lively debates in philosophy of language, linguistics, metaphysics, aesthetics, and experimental philosophy. Our everyday lives are suffused with discussions about taste. We are quick to offer familiar platitudes about taste, but we struggle when facing the questions that matter--what taste is, how it is related to subjectivity, what distinguishes good from bad taste, why it is valuable to make (...) and evaluate judgments about matters of taste, and what, exactly, we mean in speaking about these matters. The essays in this volume open up new, intersecting lines of research about these questions that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries. They address the notion of aesthetic taste; connections between taste and the natures of truth, disagreement, assertion, belief, retraction, linguistic context-sensitivity, and the semantics/pragmatics interface; experimental inquiry about taste; and metaphysical questions underlying ongoing discussions about taste. Perspectives on Taste will be of interest to researchers and advanced students working in aesthetics, philosophy of language, linguistics, metaphysics, and experimental philosophy. (shrink)
This volume addresses three major themes regarding recipes: their nature and identity; their relationship to territory, producers, consumers and places of production. The first part looks at taxonomies of recipes, the relationship between recipes and their source, and how recipes have changed over time, including case studies that look at unsourced recipes through to recipes for foods that are very highly processed. The second part identifies the constitutive relationships that characterize recipes, between territory, producers, consumers, places and spaces of production. (...) The third part studies the values and norms guiding the naming, production and consumption of recipes, scrutinising the cultural appropriation of recipes, how to stake authority in claiming a recipe, and the interplay between aesthetics and ethics in recipe making. With contributors ranging across disciplines including philosophy, law and history, and including established academics such as Carolyn Korsmeyer and food writers such as Rachel Laudan this volume will be of vital importance for those looking to understand how archival material forms our understanding of eating habits and culture throughout history. (shrink)
This paper takes meals, rather than food itself, as its focus. Meals incorporate the project of nutrition into human life, but it is a contingent matter that we nourish ourselves in this way. This paper defends the importance of meals as meaning-makers and contrasts them with art in that regard. Meals and art represent interestingly different extremes with respect to how needs for meaning are met. Artworks ask for coordination of experience, understanding and appreciation: the meaning of art is to (...) be experienced. The meaning of meals is enacted and accumulates collectively, but need not be experienced. (shrink)
Nostalgia and food are intertwined universals in human experience. All of us have experienced nostalgia centered on food, and all of us have experienced food infused with nostalgia. To explore the links between nostalgia and food, I start with a rough taxonomy of nostalgic foods, and illustrate it with examples. Despite their diversity, I argue that there is a psychological commonality to experiencing nostalgic foods of all kinds: imagination. On my account, imagination is the key to understanding the cognitive, conative, (...) affective, and perceptual aspects of experiencing nostalgic foods. In turn, the recognition of imagination’s centrality in experiencing nostalgic foods reveals how food can produce aesthetic experiences comparable to those produced by literature and painting. (shrink)
Food has savour: a collection of properties (including appearance, aroma, mouth-feel) connected with the pleasure (or displeasure) of eating. After explaining this concept, and outlining a theory of aesthetic pleasure, I argue that, like paradigm examples of art, savour can be assessed relative to a culturally determined set of norms. Also like paradigm examples of art, the assessment of savour has no objective basis in the absence of such cultural norms. My argument in this paper is part of a larger (...) project in which I develop an account of the pleasure of art. It is a virtue (I claim) of my approach that it permits a much greater diversity of artforms than traditional philosophical aesthetics is inclined to allow. This includes food. (shrink)
En el presente artículo, exploramos las conexiones que existen entre el arte culinario y la obra poética de Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. En particular, usamos un estudio detallado de las analogías que emergen entre la comida y la preparación culinaria por un lado, y la poesía y la composición poética, por otro lado. En este artículo mostramos que el arte culinario funciona como causa o catalizador de la creación poética y que existe una relación íntima y profunda entre (...) el buen sazón, lo bello, y el bien para la monja jerónima. (shrink)
Current debates in food aesthetics are moving away from a focus on whether food is art, and worries about the subjectivity and objectivity of taste, and towards questions about food's aesthetic properties, the cultural and social significance of food, our modes of aesthetic engagement with food, and issues involving cultural appropriation and the authenticity of dishes.
In this paper, we explore the connections between the culinary art and the poetic work by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. In particular, following a detailed study of the analogies between, on the one hand, food and culinary preparation, and on the other hand, poetry and composition, we show that culinary art functions as cause and catalyst of Sor Juana’s poetic creation. Also, we show that, for the hieronymite nun, there is an intimate and profound relation between good seasoning, (...) beauty and moral good. (shrink)
You are sitting in Chez Panisse, Alice Waters’ acclaimed restaurant in Berkeley, California. After an extensively prepared, multi-course meal, out comes the dessert course: an unmodified but perfectly juicy, fresh peach. Many chefs serve such unmodified or barely-modified foods with the intention that they count as culinary art. This paper takes up the question of whether unmodified foods, served in the relevant institutional settings, can count as culinary art. I propose that there is a distinctive form of aesthetic trust involved (...) in formal culinary settings, and it plays a central role in many instances of culinary art. Culinary institutions summon aesthetic trust, which helps to explain why a dish of unmodified food served in an appropriate institutional setting can count as culinary art. (shrink)
In the past years, food has found itself a central focus of creativity in contemporary culture and a pinnacle of this trend has been the kind of culinary creativity displayed at Noma in Copenhagen. But what is culinary creativity? And what is distinctive about the kind of culinary creativity displayed at places like Noma? In this paper, I attempt to answer these two questions. Building up on pioneering work on creativity by Margaret Boden, I argue that creativity is a matter (...) of adding new valuable things to the world. I then distinguish three different ways a recipe can be creative, building up on different culinary trends. I then focus on the specific case of Noma and argue that what is specific about the kind of culinary creativity displayed at Noma is that it emphasizes the role that recipes can play in mediating our relation to the environment. (shrink)
Coffee and tea are two beverages commonly-consumed around the world. Therefore, there is much research regarding their physiological effects. However, less is known about their psychological meanings. Derived from a predicted lay association between coffee and arousal, we posit that exposure to coffee-related cues should increase arousal, even in the absence of actual ingestion, relative to exposure to tea-related cues. We further suggest that higher arousal levels should facilitate a concrete level of mental construal as conceptualized by Construal Level Theory. (...) In four experiments, we find that coffee cues prompted participants to see temporal distances as shorter and to think in more concrete, precise terms. Both subjective and physiological arousal explain the effects. We situate our work in the literature that connects food and beverage to cognition or decision-making. We also discuss the applied relevance of our results as coffee and tea are among the most prevalent beverages globally. (shrink)
This chapter explores the interaction between the moral value and aesthetic value of food, in part by connecting it to existing discussions of the interaction between moral and aesthetic values of art. Along the way, this chapter considers food as art, the aesthetic value of food, and the role of expertise in uncovering aesthetic value. Ultimately this chapter argues against both food autonomism (the view that food's moral value is unconnected to its aesthetic value) and Carolyn Korsmeyer's food moralism (the (...) view that moral flaws can only make food aesthetically worse). Instead, it argues for the position of food immoralism: sometimes a moral flaw can make an item of food aesthetically better. This chapter concludes by drawing out broader implications of this position for discussions on the ethics of food and discussions on the interaction between the moral and aesthetic values of art. (shrink)
Experimental philosophy offers an alternative mode of engagement for public philosophy, in which the public can play a participatory role. We organized two public events on the aesthetics of coffee that explored this alternative mode of engagement. The first event focuses on issues surrounding the communication of taste. The second event focuses on issues concerning ethical influences on taste. -/- In this paper, we report back on these two events which explored the possibility of doing experimental philosophical aesthetics as public (...) philosophy. We set the stage by considering the significance and current state of efforts in public philosophy, and by introducing the emerging sub-discipline of experimental philosophical aesthetics. Then, we discuss the research and outreach aspects of the two events on the aesthetics of coffee. Finally, we conclude by reflecting on the prospects and potential pitfalls of experimental philosophy as public philosophy. (shrink)
In this paper I claim that Allen Carlson’s object-centered model for the aesthetic appreciation of nature could be extended to food. The application of an object-centered model to food requires the identification of appropriate foci of appreciative attention. I claim that knowledge about food function and history is relevant to its appreciation, as is the interplay between the resources of a territory and the way in which these are used by its inhabitants. After having offered a brief application of the (...) model to a traditional English recipe, the Cornish pasty, I will discuss the way in which my model meets the desiderata I outline in the first part of the paper. (shrink)
“La ‘modernidad’ a través de la imagen de la comida y la digestión”. Ésta es la tarea y el programa de la genealogía fisiológica y psicológica identificada con claridad por Nietzsche en un fragmento del otoño de 1888 y firmemente perseguida en toda su obra. El diagnóstico es implacable y es posible por un uso extendido de la metáfora gastronómica, aplicada a todos los campos de la experiencia y el lenguaje por una escritura temeraria de la historia. Como Valéry y (...) Péguy también lo ilustran, la experiencia de los hombres contemporáneos es pobre y enferma y se caracteriza por una duplicidad radical y una contradicción sin síntesis. No sólo las cosas, como además lo muestra en sus análisis sobre las mercancías como nuevos jeroglíficos que marcan el espacio saturado de la metrópolis, sino también el hombre es doble, así como su corporizada y profundamente fisiológica economía. Su estómago hambriento tiene dos caras, porque todo lo toma pero no nutre en absoluto; vocifera acerca de entusiasmos varios y heterogéneos, no sobre un verdadero alimento para ser absorbido y transformado. En resumen, vive por un instante sin pasado ni futuro. El opuesto de esta lógica de la enfermedad y la insensibilidad en busca de muchas sensaciones y shocks sensacionales, y el reverso de este olvido por rapidez excesiva, es un ser anti- o incluso premoderno en extremo. En los tiempos modernos, el entrenamiento de un criticismo genuino acerca de los prejuicios y el supuesto auto-conocimiento implican una regresión y una alteración de las propias identidades históricas, las creencias y los valores. Finalmente, como Benjamin y Warburg lo revelaron, el criticismo es como tornarse otra vez animal y la interpretación es como recuperar la lentitud y la melancolía de un eterno masticar, al igual que un perro o una vaca. (shrink)
This paper begins by distinguishing three different but related foci of gastronomical aesthetic theory: food preparation and presentation; the gustatory qualities and social meanings of the food we eat; and finally the various actions involved in the ingestion of food. This third, largely ignored dimension of gastronomical theory, constitutes the topic of this paper, which seeks to define the distinctive character of this art, elucidate its diverse values, and analyze its key elements. Particular attention is given to the much overlooked (...) proprioceptive qualities and postural aspects of the art of eating. (shrink)
Acknowledgments. The seed of this book began with a session on “food and everyday life” which took place at the 2010 Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy con- ference in Montreal, Canada. I thus wish to acknowledge and ...
A l’instar de bien d’autres activités, manger du chocolat suscite du plaisir. Mais comment articuler de manière satisfaisante les différents sens en jeu dans l’ingestion d’un aliment – le goût, bien sûr, mais aussi l’odorat, l’ouïe et le toucher – avec ce plaisir ? Selon une approche traditionnelle, ce dernier n’est rien de plus qu’une expérience ineffable qui, si elle s’avère accompagner certaines stimulations sensorielles ou des activités plus intellectuelles, ne porte sur rien du tout. Est-ce plausible ? Ou faudrait-il (...) plutôt comprendre le plaisir comme un sens supplémentaire qui viendrait prêter main forte au goût, à l’odorat et au toucher afin de parachever notre appréhension du chocolat ? Et, après tout, qu’est-ce qu’un plaisir ? Je suggère dans ce qui suit que la variété des types de plaisirs que nous sommes susceptibles de ressentir ainsi que la manière dont nous les ressentons vont à l’encontre de l’approche traditionnelle : les plaisirs portent sur quelque chose et nous renseignent à son propos. Cependant, cela ne signifie pas pour autant qu’il faille situer le plaisir sur le même plan que les sens. Il se situe plutôt en aval de leur activité, présuppose les informations qu’ils délivrent et constitue une réaction évaluative à leur endroit. (shrink)
What are the historical origins of aesthetic education? One of these comes from the eighteenth century. This became an important theme in a novel of the time. Published in 1761, Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Julie, or the New Heloise: Letters of Two Lovers Who Live in a Small Town at the Foot of the Alps1 was an instant success in eighteenth-century Europe. Widely read, the novel made European culture self-conscious and forced it to pay attention to aspects of living that had gone (...) unnoticed or underappreciated, including taste and food.2 These aspects—taste and food—become concrete manifestations of aesthetic education. Through the voices of Julie and her tutor-turned-lover Saint Preux, they provide a lively critique of.. (shrink)
Disgust is a strong aversion, yet paradoxically it can constitute an appreciative aesthetic response to works of art. Artistic disgust can be funny, profound, sorrowful, or gross. This book examines numerous examples of disgust as it is aroused by art and offers a set of explanations for its aesthetic appeal.
The status of the body figures paradoxically in the interrelated discourses of whiteness, aesthetic taste, and hipness. While Richard Dyer’s analysis of whiteness argues that white identity is “in but not of the body,” Carolyn Korsmeyer’s and Julia Kristeva’s feminist analyses of aesthetic “taste” demonstrate that this faculty is traditionally conceived as something “of” but not “in” the body. While taste directly distances whiteness from embodiment, hipness negatively affirms this same distance: the hipster proves his elite status within white culture (...) by positioning himself as, in the words of James Chance’s song title, “Almost Black.” The notion of hip contributes to my analysis of taste by focusing on both the gender politics of white embodiment, and how, by taking the social body as object of the prepositions “in” and “of,” these discourses of taste and hipness produce individual bodies as white, and maintain Whiteness as a socio-political norm. (shrink)
The sense of taste falls low on the hierarchy of the senses because it seems a poor conduit for knowledge of the external world; it directs attention inward rather than outward; its pleasures are sensuous and bodily, prone to overindulgence that distracts from higher human endeavours; and its objects are at best merely pleasant, not of the highest aesthetic value. Such is the traditional assessment; now let us analyse its justice.
Food & Philosophy offers a collection of essays which explore a range of philosophical topics related to food; it joins Wine & Philosophy and Beer & Philosophy in in the "Epicurean Trilogy." Essays are organized thematically and written by philosophers, food writers, and professional chefs.
In 1929 when Aurel Kolnai published his essay “On Disgust” in Husserl's ]ahrbuch he could truly assert that disgust was a "sorely neglected" topic. Now, however, this situation is changing as philosophers, psychologists, and historians of culture are turning their attention not only to emotions in general but more specifically to the large and disturbing set of aversive emotions, including disgust. We here provide an account of Kolnai’s contribution to the study of the phenomenon of disgust, of his general theory (...) of emotions and of the phenomenological methodology he employed in his work. (shrink)
The problem of disgust has until recently been neglected in the scientific literature. In comparison to the scientific (psychological and metaphysical) interest that has been applied to hatred, anxiety, and similar phenomena, disgust — although a common and important factor in our emotional life — has been unexplored, or it has been viewed as a “higher degree of dislike,” as “nausea,” or as a phenomenon of the “repression of urges.” We here show how the feeling of disgust possesses a unique (...) and characteristic quality on the basis of a phenomenological investigation. (shrink)
Korsmeyer (philosophy, State U. of New York-Buffalo) disagrees with the centuries of philosophers before her that taste is beneath the dignity of the field. She explores how it gained such a low esteem, parallels between notions of aesthetic and gustatory taste, how the sense works scientifically, the multiple components of the experience, its various meanings in art and literature, and its sacred dimension. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR.
The importance of food in our individual lives raises moral questions from the debate over eating animals to the prominence of gourmet cookery in the popular media. Through philosophy, Elizabeth Telfer discusses issues including our obligations to those who are starving; the value of the pleasure of food; food as art; our duties to animals; and the moral virtues of hospitableness and temperance. Elizabeth Telfer shows how much traditional philosophy, from Plato to John Stuart Mill, has to say to illuminate (...) this everyday yet complex subject. (shrink)
Philosophy has often been criticized for privileging the abstract; this volume attempts to remedy that situation. Focusing on one of the most concrete of human concerns, food, the editors argue for the existence of a philosophy of food.