Food and the Association of Perceptions

International Journal of Applied Philosophy 33 (2):295-304 (2019)
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Abstract

It has long been claimed and supposedly substantiated that there exists an association of ideas, but not of perceptions (that is, sensations or impressions). Collingwood echoed this claim from Hume, but Hume later in the Treatise produced an association of impressions (actually emotions and passions), so he came close to Hobbes’s position: human physiology has “trains of sense” and these are carried on in human thought—what we call “ideas” (he called “decaying sense”). A strong case can be made for this claim when we examine the phenomenon of food. Concerning food, I explore Chinese cuisine and more recently Kunz and Kaminsky’s The Elements of Taste for examples that provide substantiation of the association of perceptions. This proves to be a rewarding way to look at the phenomenon of food and leads us to re-examine traditional theories of perception.

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