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Food Perception and Education

Aggiornamento: 11 lug 2022

Keywords: Food perception, Philosophy of Food, Aesthetics of Food, Food Education, Gastronomic Studies in Higher Education, Ecological Perception

Area Coordinators: Nicola Perullo

Keynote Speaker: Gianfranco Marrone, University of Palermo, Italy, with Francesco Mangiapane, University of Palermo, Italy

Call for papers: open

Something like a “philosophy of food” only appeared in the late twentieth century, mostly thanks to female philosophers, as a derivation and elaboration of feminism and gender studies. Lisa Heldke, Elizabeth Telfer and Carolyn Korsmeyer gave fundamental contributions to the birth of the field that has quickly grown in the last two decades, becoming today quite universally accepted. Although food is a complex matter, which can be approached through multiple facets (biological necessity, cultural preferences, social bindings, personal taste and spiritual desires), it needs to be experienced in order to be felt, known and appreciated. In exploring food and gastronomy, then, one cannot escape to focus on perception. Food perception, moreover, is not contemplative: it calls for a direct engagement by the perceiver. Tasting food is a relational process, not reducible to chemical stimulations. Gustatory perception is complex and ecological, involving multiple functions and patterns. This is why food perception calls for “cultivation” and education. But what is food education, or education of taste? Does it correspond just to information or instruction? Or rather to cultivations of “good manners” transmitted by modern bourgeois society, the society in which Western gastronomic discourse was born? Is there today – in the age of global warming and ecological disasters – a different possibility for educating food perception and rising consciousness through eating, maybe calling for a gustatory “wisdom” that goes beyond acquired taste and inducted instruction? The question is at the same time aesthetic and ethical, philosophical and political. Food perception, then, far from being just a matter of detecting tastes and flavours (as it is too often understood) places itself, instead, at the cross of urgent issues of our contemporary agenda.

Accepted papers: News soon

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