Download Food for Thought: Philosophy and Food by Elizabeth Telfer PDF

By Elizabeth Telfer

The philosophical matters raised by means of meals this brief and obtainable ebook questions where foodstuff must have in our person lives. It exhibits how conventional philosophy and its vintage texts can remove darkness from a daily topic.

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Example text

But this feature is not peculiar to food and eating. Perhaps—despite Joseph Butler—everything can be what it is and other things as well, and there is nothing especially significant about the meanings of food. Just before writing this, for example, I watched a father, accompanied by his young son, putting money into a savings account in the son’s name. That action could also be an act of love, an assertion of a belief in the importance of saving and selfreliance, part of a celebration of the boy’s birthday or of some achievement of his, and so on.

This means that some kinds of pleasure, for some people, cannot be adequately replaced by other kinds of pleasure; and for many people it seems that the pleasures of food are of this kind. THE QUALITATIVE STRAND Some philosophers hold that it is unworthy to show a particular liking for the pleasures of food. In their view eating may be a good source of pleasure, but it is not a source of good pleasure. This is the second strand of doctrines in the Western philosophical tradition attacking the pleasures of food—the qualitative as opposed to the quantitative strand.

But a willingness to realise that we may not be morally entitled to everything that is conventionally regarded as our property is equally relevant to helping those abroad. For example, Lappé and Collins say that we can Feeding the hungry 19 help the hungry in the Third World by the way we shop (where we shop, what we buy and what we refuse to buy) and the way we invest our savings; and that those with relevant skills can help by working in a Third World country. But anyone who believed themselves morally entitled to pay as little, and earn as much, as the free market allows would do none of these things.

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