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The Philosophy of Food, 17th July, University of Sheffield

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The Philosophy of Food

17th July 2018

University of Sheffield

The White Rose Aesthetics Forum would like to invite interested parties to attend an afternoon of talks on the Philosophy of Food. This is a free event on philosophical aesthetics, open to all.

The event will talk place on 17th July 2018 at the University of Sheffield in Jessop Building Ensemble Room 1 and abstracts for the talks are below.
Please let us know if you intend to join us by filling in THIS FORM or send any questions to Nadia at nmehdi1@sheffield.ac.uk.

We have a number of postgraduate travel bursaries of £15 that we will assign on a first come first serve basis thanks to the White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities (WRoCAH students – if these are all claimed by non-WRoCAH students we may ask you to apply for a small award).

12 -1 Refreshments
1-2.15 Louise Richardson – Fraudulent Food
2.15-2.30 Break
2.30-3.45 Aaron Meskin – The Social Construction of an Aesthetic Kind: ‘Foodie’ and Foodies
3.45-4 Break
4 – 5.15 Lisa Heldke – Socrates Was a Parasite: Relations Between Literal and Metaphorical Meanings of Parasitism
5.30-6.30 Drinks
7 Dinner

This workshop will abide by the guidelines set within the BPA/SWIP good practice scheme and we will strive to make the workshop accessible to all. Disabled parking is available, and the venue is wheelchair-accessible. Please get in touch with Nadia at nmehdi1@sheffield.ac.uk if you have any specific access requirements.

Louise Richardson, Lecturer in Philosophy, York University
Fraudulent food

In my talk I will consider the epistemological power of taste experience, and its implications. First, I will argue that there is nothing about taste itself that precludes it from being a source of knowledge in same way that sight, hearing and the other modalities of perception are sources of knowledge. However, there are, I will argue, effects to which—in part, given features of our contemporary gustatory environment—taste is peculiarly susceptible. Its susceptibility to these effects means that the experience of eating is frequently deceptive: we are probably subject to a lot of illusions when eating, and we probably make a lot of false judgements about the features of what we are eating. Finally, I will argue that given the kinds of concerns we typically have when eating, there’s a respect in which this doesn’t matter very much: the illusions and false judgements to which the effects give rise don’t interfere with these distinctive concerns. Nevertheless, the deceiving of taste raises ethical issues which seem suitable subject matter for the philosophy of food.

Aaron Meskin, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Leeds University
The Social Construction of an Aesthetic Kind: “Foodie” and Foodies
It’s not that hard to find a slew of mediocre online think pieces about the term “foodie” which tell us that the word is terrible and that we ought to stop using it. But criticisms of the term “foodie” are unpersuasive. The term usefully functions to pick out an important aspect of contemporary life—a distinctive and recently emergent social role with an aesthetic dimension (i.e., an aesthetic social role or aesthetic person kind) like other such socially constructed social roles such as the dandy, the punk, and the hipster. Or so I shall argue in this paper.

Professor Lisa Heldke, Professor of Philosophy, Gustavus Adolphus College
Socrates Was a Parasite: Relations Between Literal and Metaphorical Meanings of Parasitism

Ever since I’ve been using parasites to do philosophy, I’ve been asking myself the question: “Am I talking about literal parasites-and-other-kinds-of-symbionts-in-nature here, or do those creatures just stand in as metaphors for whatever I’m really talking about? Am I saying that, e.g., our relationships with our resident colonies of microbes are actually constitutive of our personhood, or is my philosophical use of them just a graphic figure of speech with which I try to illustrate the degree to which our (external, macro-level) interactions with other humans constitute us? Why not skip all the (frankly) melodramatic metaphors from the natural world and cut to the cultural (and literal) heart of the matter: developing a relational sense of self that intentionally builds in all the conflictual features of relationships that tend to get left out of traditional relational models—and that the term “parasite” invokes? .) Disentangling the complicated interrelations between the literal and the metaphorical, in order to get clearer about my use of the parasite, is the project of this talk. In the end, “getting clear about my use of the parasite” amounts to an ontological/epistemological undertaking, one that does not stop at the constitution of the human individual, but extends its ruminations to the human-world relationship, the world in which we humans are embedded and of which we are constitutive parts. I will do so by way of an exploration of the etymology of “parasite.” This etymology will serve (somewhat surprisingly) as a kind of “case study” for how we and the world together constitute what we are together.