The Virtues of the Table: How to Eat and Think

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9781847087140: The Virtues of the Table: How to Eat and Think
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How we eat, farm and shop for food is not only a matter of taste. Our choices regarding what we eat involve every essential aspect of our human nature: the animal, the sensuous, the social, the cultural, the creative, the emotional and the intellectual. Thinking seriously about food requires us to consider our relationship to nature, to our fellow animals, to each other and to ourselves. So can thinking about food teach us about being virtuous, and can what we eat help us to decide how to live? From the author of The Ego Trick and The Pig that Wants to be Eaten comes a thought provoking exploration of our values and vices. What can fasting teach us about autonomy? Should we, like Kant, 'dare to know' cheese? Should we take media advice on salt with a pinch of salt? And can food be more virtuous, more inherently good, than art?

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'Eating and thinking, both vital. If one goes down, the other will restore. A wonderful book.' --Fergus Henderson, author of The Complete Nose to Tail

'A virtuoso feast for the mind and soul, sure to satisfy the philosopher and foodie in us all.' --Francine Segan, author of The Philosopher's Kitchen

'Julian Baggini has that rare but wonderful gift of being able to be at once profound and highly entertaining. This remarkable book combines the pleasures of the table with those of philosophy, and this most engaging of philosophers has achieved a perfect balance.' --Alexander McCall Smith

'Baggini expertly dismantles self-congratulatory assumptions about the evils of large industry and chain restaurants or the superiority of organic food and local eating' --Guardian

'Julian Baggini has that rare but wonderful gift of being able to be at once profound and highly entertaining. This remarkable book combines the pleasures of the table with those of philosophy, and this most engaging of philosophers has achieved a perfect balance.' --Alexander McCall Smith

'The Virtues of the Table is interesting, arguable stuff and shows Baggini at his best, drawing from a glorious range of sources to produce engaging thought' --Observer

'Julian Baggini has that rare but wonderful gift of being able to be at once profound and highly entertaining. This remarkable book combines the pleasures of the table with those of philosophy, and this most engaging of philosophers has achieved a perfect balance.' --Alexander McCall Smith

'Where Baggini is particularly good is in bringing his sceptical, forensic methods to bear on the 'new food orthodoxies'; the propaganda we receive about sustainable, organic, seasonal and local produce. Baggini brilliantly picks apart the contradictions and inherent hypocrisies... Even-handed to the last' --The Times

'Baggini's mission is to make us think about our food: to learn more about it, and consider the ethical stance we take when choosing it. ... If his mission is to make us find out more about food, and to reflect on those findings for ourselves, then The Virtues of the Table will be a great success' **** --Daily Telegraph

'A book that stimulates both mind and palate' --Irish Times

'Baggini has impressive food credentials. His notes on cheese are extremely discerning, and his ideal cheeseboard a near-match to my own. He combines scrupulous argument with fastidious respect for common sense' --Paul Levy, Wall Street Journal

'Engaging and cleverly illustrated... Baggini touches on an impressive range of themes. One of the main strengths of this book lies in Baggini's lucid overview of the complexity of moral life. Even ardent anti-foodies will find enough here to satisfy them' --Times Literary Supplement

'Baggini has impressive food credentials. His notes on cheese are extremely discerning, and his ideal cheeseboard a near-match to my own. He combines scrupulous argument with fastidious respect for common sense' --Paul Levy, Wall Street Journal

'Baggini, a practised demystifier of philosophy, takes on the issues with which 'foodies' torture themselves. He is never dry or over-academic, leavening reason with wit. Several writers have attempted philosophies of food. This philosopher does a better job and with more humour' --'Book of the Year', Tim Hayward, Financial Times

'Baggini has impressive food credentials. His notes on cheese are extremely discerning, and his ideal cheeseboard a near-match to my own. He combines scrupulous argument with fastidious respect for common sense' --Paul Levy, Wall Street Journal

'It is well-argued with bags of humorous reflections, ethical dilemmas and astute observations and will make you see your food choices in a new light' --Must Reads paperback review, Daily Mail

'Baggini has impressive food credentials. His notes on cheese are extremely discerning, and his ideal cheeseboard a near-match to my own. He combines scrupulous argument with fastidious respect for common sense' --Paul Levy, Wall Street Journal

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