Morality and Aesthetics of Food

In Anne Barnhill, Mark Budolfson & Tyler Doggett (eds.), The Oxford Handbook on Food Ethics. Oxford University Press. pp. 658-679 (2018)
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Abstract

This chapter explores the interaction between the moral value and aesthetic value of food, in part by connecting it to existing discussions of the interaction between moral and aesthetic values of art. Along the way, this chapter considers food as art, the aesthetic value of food, and the role of expertise in uncovering aesthetic value. Ultimately this chapter argues against both food autonomism (the view that food's moral value is unconnected to its aesthetic value) and Carolyn Korsmeyer's food moralism (the view that moral flaws can only make food aesthetically worse). Instead, it argues for the position of food immoralism: sometimes a moral flaw can make an item of food aesthetically better. This chapter concludes by drawing out broader implications of this position for discussions on the ethics of food and discussions on the interaction between the moral and aesthetic values of art.

Author Profiles

Aaron Meskin
University of Georgia
Shen-yi Liao
University of Puget Sound

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