Culinary Mind - Centre for the Philosophy of Food
We are a research centre and network of academics, chefs, food writers and other individuals whose work relates to philosophy of food. The centre was founded in 2017 and is based at University of Milan, with members in various countries all over the world. Our aim is to promote philosophical thinking on food-related topics in the form of research, publications, conferences, and other events.
For further information or collaboration proposals, please get in touch:
Or contact the director Andrea Borghini:
Philosophy of Food
Public discourses on food, eating and cooking are everywhere, but what is missing is a philosophical perspective. On the other hand, academic philosophy has mostly ignored questions related to food and eating except as regards the ethical and political issues. Culinary Mind aims to fulfil these gaps by contributing to public discourses on food from the philosophical point of view, and by focusing on philosophical issues related to food from the point of view of metaphysics, philosophy of mind, language, perception, aesthetics, and epistemology.
So what is philosophy of food?
Here are some examples of questions that interest us:
- What fixes the identity of a given food? What fixes the identity of special items, such as genetically modified foods, or foods protected by a geographical indication?
- How to define and measure the biodiversity of edible organisms? What are the chief taxonomic junctures when it comes to edible organisms and how to adequately reflect them in a label?
- What is a recipe? What is a culinary tradition? Who should have authority to shape these entities?
- What are the main epistemological aspects of food consumption, and in particular, what is the role played by trust in the epistemology of food consumption and what role does the existence of food labels play in this respect?
- What is the nature of the feelings and emotions traditionally associated with food, such as hunger, gustatory pleasure or nostalgia?
- Can food be an art form? If so, what sort of art is the culinary art? In what ways does it reflect public and private interests? For instance, are restaurants a form of public art? Or, to what extent can a citizen’s diet be infringed upon by legal and political pressure? How to explain the political and social underpinnings of culinary art, as reflected for instance in gastro-diplomacy?