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Philosophy Colloquium – Megan Dean
TITLE: Food Ethics and Eating as a Self-Shaping Activity
ABSTRACT: Prominent debates in food ethics often imply disagreements about what is ethically important about eating. In this paper, I argue that an important and often overlooked aspect of eating’s ethical importance is its role as a self-shaping activity. I contend that the ways we practice and understand eating can cultivate, reinforce, or undermine aspects of the self, including affects, capacities, and agency. The ways we eat, and are encouraged, discouraged, or prevented from eating by food policies or interventions, can have ethically significant effects on the self. After making this case through discussion of weight-loss dieting, I argue that debates over “healthist” eating policies ignore the self-shaping role of eating, limiting and distorting these conversations. To fully understand the ethical implications of these policies or any way of eating, we must include the effects of eating on selves alongside more traditional concerns about health, autonomy, and the value of eating experiences.
WHEN: Thursday, November 21, 2019
WHERE: Stevenson Hall – 132
TIME: 5 p.m.