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The Virtues of the Table: How to Eat and Think
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The Virtues of the Table: How to Eat and Think

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  119 ratings  ·  16 reviews
How we eat, farm and shop for food is not only a matter of taste. Our choices regarding what we eat involve every essential aspect of our human nature: the animal, the sensuous, the social, the cultural, the creative, the emotional and the intellectual. Thinking seriously about food requires us to consider our relationship to nature, to our fellow animals, to each other an ...more
Paperback, 301 pages
Published January 2nd 2014 by Granta (first published 2014)
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3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  119 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Paul Harris
My experience with 'books about food' is nothing kore than a reading of Foer's 'Eating Animals' 3 and a half years ago, an experience that then prompted of a sort of, but not really change in my eating habits. It's a book I now want to revisit, but it's not the one I'm reviewing here.

This book has a pretty poor start, at least, that was my experience. I almost gave up on it after thirty pages as I didn't want to read a recipe book with some cod-philosophy unceremoniously stuffed between the cook
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
my kindle read notes:

我是无法认同仲尼先生的——“食不言”。 我是半个意大利人,在我们的文化里,吃往往体现了宴饮之欢的美德。围着一张桌子吃饭,是谈话的最佳时刻。吃是一种深刻的人文主义体验,它把所有人都带到了同一层面上:不管是国王还是农夫,所有人都必须吃东西。从中庸之道出发,显然可以推导出,在餐桌边保持沉默,跟边吃边扯着嗓子大呼小叫,同样不够得体。吃带来了对话的可能性,而《吃的美德》,就是邀你加入对话的请柬。



Caleb Liu
Dec 30, 2017 rated it liked it
I have to admit that it was a brilliant idea to use food as a means to explore many philosophical issues. Can cooking be considered an art lends itself to broader questions of aesthetics and what exactly is art being just one example. Eating and pleasure nicely dovetails into utilitarianism and whether food is indeed a “lower” pleasure by Mill’s definition

Baggini writes with clarity and manages the difficult task of simplifying complex ideas without distorting them admirably for the most part.
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
It’s a 3.5 for me

There are some pretty good lessons in here and good points to consider like his chapters on vegetarianism/veganism but hmm I don’t know, I feel like most of the points are not too difficult to forget? Maybe because food is not my favorite reading subject or I’m just not too concerned about it?

Anyway, at the end of every part he shares simple recipes that I think are quite friendly; no strict measurements and ingredients which is attractive (I imagine especially to people not to
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Quite literally and metaphorically, food of thought.
Oct 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Do we 'Eat to Live, or Live to Eat'? - a quote attributed variously, it seems, to Benjamin Franklin, Cicero, Socrates or Moliere. Considering the centuries that have elapsed since Socrates was philosophising around 300-400BC, it is intriguing that we still spend a lot of thought and energy on analysing the human experience with food. You see, for us humans, eating is not simply about feeding - life giving, sustenance, nutrition, energy and survival. Sure this is part of the package, but what set ...more
Feb 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
There are some very encouraging chapters where I read everything with great interest, but after a while it started to really get on my nerves. Disclaimer: i'm not a philosophy lover but I don't completely reject every heavyweight principle ever said by well known academics. That said, Julian's opinion on some pieces like eating meat with compassion did not go well with mine. The later the chapters, the more meta they got and the less about food. I would not recommend buying this even if you're i ...more
Jul 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: finished-in-2016
I disliked this book at first and found its didactic tone ironic since its earliest injunction is to question labels and think for yourself about food. I yearned for the intelligent, questioning tone Hattie Ellis manages in 'What to Eat?' . However, the book grew on me and by the time he describes his short-tempered two-fingered salute spurred by dieting, I was won over. It is a very intelligent and thought-provoking book and, like Ellis's, has encouraged me to question more and to continue to t ...more
Mar 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I've pretty much always worked in the food industry in different roles and food has always been a hobby and obsession for me as well as my career. It is rare for me to find a book about food which challenges my ideas and experiences and whilst I don't always find myself agreeing completely with Baggini, his different essays on varying gastronomic topics set me thinking and questioning long held beliefs. A beguiling book for anyone with a life in food, or a household philosopher.
Dec 11, 2014 rated it liked it
What is the meaning behind our everyday meal?
If you are an avid foodie & a thinker, this book is for you.
There is no exact answer on how to eat and this is certainly not the objective of the book.
Instead, this is the kind of book that puts a stone in your shoes.
Some aspects discussed are selection of food (terms like organic, GMO, local, etc.), preparation of food, the eating process itself, fasting, and so on.
Each chapter is complemented with the author's recipe.
Hans Mülller
Sep 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Leuk/aardig boek over eten en moraal. beschouwend boek met interessante ideeen en vragen. Waarom biologisch niet altijd goed is, waarom dieeten niet werkt enz. Evenwichtig maar niet schokkend, bevat ook niet heel veel opzienbarende inzichten. Recepten die tussen de betogen door staan zijn niet altijd even boeiend, maar voor het boek ook niet echt nodig.
Eric Kalnins
Feb 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
After an indifferent start as I found a little preachy this book really grew achieving four stars for me. I suspect this is influenced by my own bias so that as I went further it became more aligned to what interests me.
Thoughtful engaging read ... recommended
May 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Really interesting and clearly argued. Challenged me to question many of my long held attitudes and beliefs around food in all kinds of ways.
Jimmy C
Oct 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
It made me think
Ling Xuan
May 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A fresh and thoughtful take on the nuances revolving around "food" and the perennial act of "eating", which, at times, elaborated beyond to other areas of living and human condition. A great read!
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Julian Baggini is a British philosopher and the author of several books about philosophy written for a general audience. He is the author of The Pig that Wants to be Eaten and 99 other thought experiments (2005) and is co-founder and editor of The Philosophers' Magazine. He was awarded his Ph.D. in 1996 from University College London for a thesis on the philosophy of personal identity. In addition ...more