Notes on Eating in Theory
Philosophical treatises are informed by exemplary situations. In the twentieth century, these were mass killings by authoritarian regimes. Currently, we are also faced with grave ecological crises. So, while previously it made sense to imagine ‘the human’ as a creature able to rise above ‘the beasts’, now we would do well to take a serious look at the physical entanglements between humans and other creatures.
In her book Eating in Theory, Mol discusses the practices of eating to argue for new theoretical terms that describe the realities of environmental destruction. She suggests that the terms we currently use elevate thinking and talking above eating and nurturing, hence giving ‘the human’ a superior role in the debate. With this observation she actively interferes in the ‘Western philosophical tradition’ as she proposes alternative understandings of being, knowing, doing and relating by using eating as presenting exemplary situations with which to think. In this talk, she will present us with a few tasters.
Annemarie Mol is a ethnographer who works at the intersection of philosophy and anthropology with a focus on the body and embodiment. She is well-known for her work on post-Actor Network Theory and feminist understandings of technology, medicine and science.