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Food Philosophy: An Introduction - Softcover

 
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Food is a challenging subject. There is little consensus about how and what we should produce and consume. It is not even clear what food is or whether people have similar experiences of it. On one hand, food is recognized as a basic need, if not a basic right. On the other hand, it is hard to generalize about it given the wide range of practices and cuisines, and the even wider range of tastes. This book is an introduction to the philosophical dimensions of food. David M. Kaplan examines the nature and meaning of food, how we experience it, the social role it plays, its moral and political dimensions, and how we judge it to be delicious or awful. He shows how the different branches of philosophy contribute to a broader understanding of food: what food is (metaphysics), how we experience food (epistemology), what taste in food is (aesthetics), how we should make and eat food (ethics), how governments should regulate food (political philosophy), and why food matters to us (existentialism). Kaplan embarks on a series of philosophical investigations, considering topics such as culinary identity and authenticity, tasting and food criticism, appetite and disgust, meat eating and techno-foods, and consumerism and conformity. He emphasizes how different narratives help us navigate the complex world of food and reminds us we all have responsibilities to ourselves, to others, and to animals. An original treatment of a timely subject, Food Philosophy is suitable for undergraduates while making a significant contribution to scholarly debates.

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Review:
David M. Kaplan has thought deeply about food, and Food Philosophy has countless interesting and instructive observations, theories, and insights about food and eating. It is full of gems that I want to draw on in my own work.--Anne Barnhill, coeditor of The Oxford Handbook of Food Ethics

Kaplan's excellent book integrates issues of food and eating with philosophy, enlivening the field and deepening the ways we should think and theorize about food. He blends insightful analysis with empirical studies, bringing together much of the literature on food into a seamless study that is original, thought-provoking, and readable.--Carolyn Korsmeyer, author of Things: In Touch with the Past

This is exactly the book I have been waiting for as a sociologist interested in philosophical questions opened up by food in our times. It is an inviting introduction to central questions of ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics, and epistemology for philosophers, social scientists, and humanists.--Krishnendu Ray, author of The Ethnic Restaurateur
About the Author:
David M. Kaplan is associate professor of philosophy at the University of North Texas, where he also directs the Philosophy of Food Project. He is editor of The Philosophy of Food (2012) and the Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics, 2nd ed. (2019), among other works.

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