The Hungry Soul: Eating and the Perfecting of Our Nature by Leon R. Kass
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Kass's philosophical exploration of the human need and habits around food, seems to depend largely on Western, modernist notions of self-perfection through progress. Kass appears to equate human civilization with virtue, (references to animals always being pejorative) and rarely accounts for the psychological constraints of culture and society that produced much of the manners/customs he seems to praise as progress. The book has intriguing arguments, but only in the context of a larger conversation about food and human/cultural identity. It's often hard to tell if Kass is asserting what he believes or merely reporting trends. As such, I found myself pushing against much of his claims, while not knowing if he was actually claiming the idea I was pushing against.
Perhaps this book is simply exploring questions that don't interest me. A very odd read. Or maybe I really just don't like/get reading philosophy.
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Currents, May 2017
11 hours ago