Food and Philosophy
Food is a fundamental aspect of human existence. Although we often focus on the taste and nutritional value of food, there are lots of interesting philosophical issues about the place of food in our society. This website introduces some of these issues. Topics include animal rights, world hunger, genetic engineering, and health policies regarding food and drugs. We shall also discuss the connections between food and art, and the subjectivity of taste.
- Eating meat - Is it wrong to kill and eat animals?
- Animal rights - Do animals have rights?
- World hunger - Do we have a duty to help those in need?
- Junk food and drugs - Why allow one but not the other?
- Genetically-modified food - Should we be playing God?
- Capitalism and food - Is the free market a good market?
- Food as art - Can food be a great work of art?
- Bad taste - Is beauty in the eye of the beholder?
- Sweet and sour - Can objective science explain subjective taste?
- Food and meaning - Do we eat to live, or live to eat?
This website is developed by Dr. Joe Lau, and hosted by the Department of Philosophy, The University of Hong Kong. Funding support is provided by a HKU Knowledge Exchange Grant.
A book (written in Chinese) discussing these topics further has been published by Oxford University Press in 2021.
There is also a Chinese version of this site, in traditional Chinese and simplified Chinese characters.