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The Virtues of the Table: How to Eat and Think [Paperback]

Julian Baggini
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

2 Jan 2014
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 and to ourselves. So can thinking about food teach us about being virtuous, and can what we eat help us to decide how to live? From the author of The Ego Trick and The Pig that Wants to be Eaten comes a thought provoking exploration of our values and vices. What can fasting teach us about autonomy? Should we, like Kant, 'dare to know' cheese? Should we take media advice on salt with a pinch of salt? And can food be more virtuous, more inherently good, than art?

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The Virtues of the Table: How to Eat and Think + We Are Our Brains: From the Womb to Alzheimer's + Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason and the Gap Between Us and Them
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Granta (2 Jan 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847087140
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847087140
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 15 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 57,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Julian Baggini's books include The Ego Trick, Welcome to Everytown, What's It All About? - Philosophy and the Meaning of Life and The Pig That Wants to be Eaten, all published by Granta Books. He writes for several newspapers and magazines and is co-founder of The Philosophers' Magazine.

Product Description

Review

'Eating and thinking, both vital. If one goes down, the other will restore. A wonderful book.' --Fergus Henderson, author of The Complete Nose to Tail

'A virtuoso feast for the mind and soul, sure to satisfy the philosopher and foodie in us all.' --Francine Segan, author of The Philosopher's Kitchen

'Julian Baggini has that rare but wonderful gift of being able to be at once profound and highly entertaining. This remarkable book combines the pleasures of the table with those of philosophy, and this most engaging of philosophers has achieved a perfect balance.' --Alexander McCall Smith

'Baggini expertly dismantles self-congratulatory assumptions about the evils of large industry and chain restaurants or the superiority of organic food and local eating' --Guardian

'Julian Baggini has that rare but wonderful gift of being able to be at once profound and highly entertaining. This remarkable book combines the pleasures of the table with those of philosophy, and this most engaging of philosophers has achieved a perfect balance.' --Alexander McCall Smith

'The Virtues of the Table is interesting, arguable stuff and shows Baggini at his best, drawing from a glorious range of sources to produce engaging thought' --Observer

'Julian Baggini has that rare but wonderful gift of being able to be at once profound and highly entertaining. This remarkable book combines the pleasures of the table with those of philosophy, and this most engaging of philosophers has achieved a perfect balance.' --Alexander McCall Smith

'Where Baggini is particularly good is in bringing his sceptical, forensic methods to bear on the 'new food orthodoxies'; the propaganda we receive about sustainable, organic, seasonal and local produce. Baggini brilliantly picks apart the contradictions and inherent hypocrisies... Even-handed to the last' --The Times

'Baggini's mission is to make us think about our food: to learn more about it, and consider the ethical stance we take when choosing it. ... If his mission is to make us find out more about food, and to reflect on those findings for ourselves, then The Virtues of the Table will be a great success' **** --Daily Telegraph

'A book that stimulates both mind and palate' --Irish Times

'Baggini has impressive food credentials. His notes on cheese are extremely discerning, and his ideal cheeseboard a near-match to my own. He combines scrupulous argument with fastidious respect for common sense' --Paul Levy, Wall Street Journal

'Engaging and cleverly illustrated... Baggini touches on an impressive range of themes. One of the main strengths of this book lies in Baggini's lucid overview of the complexity of moral life. Even ardent anti-foodies will find enough here to satisfy them' --Times Literary Supplement

'Baggini has impressive food credentials. His notes on cheese are extremely discerning, and his ideal cheeseboard a near-match to my own. He combines scrupulous argument with fastidious respect for common sense' --Paul Levy, Wall Street Journal

About the Author

JULIAN BAGGINI (www.julianbaggini.com) is Founding Editor of The Philosophers' Magazine. His books include Welcome to Everytown: A Journey into the English Mind, What's It All About?: Philosophy and the Meaning of Life, the bestselling The Pig that Wants to be Eaten, Do They Think You're Stupid? and The Ego Trick, all published by Granta Books.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever and thought-provoking 25 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Julian Baggini considers, very thoughtfully, the way we produce, process and consume food and the morality of various positions such as vegetarianism, locavorism and fair trade. What makes this book so valuable is that it unpacks the standard articulation of each issue and probes into the evidence and possible alternatives. Should we eat more locally and less organically? Does being a locavore mean we shun fair trade? What is refreshing is the lack of finger-waving and tutting. Moral questions are considered but without recourse to rants or evangelical sermonising. Everyone, particularly our latte-drinking urban-based politicians, should read this book and then think about what they put into their mouths. If this book teaches anything, it teaches the reader to think carefully about food and to think again. One of the best books I have read on food production.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A bit idiosyncratic 31 Mar 2014
By Hamish
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not the book I was looking for so maybe I'm being a little unfair - it shouldn't have the work think in the title as it is really just about food.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading 23 Feb 2014
By Bluebell TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found this an interesting book, especially the early chapters that discussed such things as the carbon footprints of foods based on the geographical sources, with some surprises, and the ethics of different dietary regimes, such as vegetarian v. omnivorous. The author is on shakier ground when he ventures into the medical/nutritional aspects of eating. I found the later chapters less good and rather long-winded with less substance, but overall I enjoyed the book and found it worth-reading.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very Interestng 9 Feb 2014
By dima
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
totally advise this book, the subject is really actual and author not trying to demonize any of the parts. go for it!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the virtues of the table 7 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
an excellent read, natural common sense as usual provided by Julian Baggini - how to eat sensibly and enjoy proper food.
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