Hungry Soul: Eating and the Perfecting of Our Nature

Overview


The Hungry Soul is a fascinating exploration of the natural and cultural act of eating. Kass brilliantly reveals how the various aspects of this phenomenon, and the customs, rituals, and taboos surrounding it, relate to universal and profound truths about the human animal and its deepest yearnings.

"Kass is a distinguished and graceful writer. . . . It is astonishing to discover how different is our world from that of the animals, even in that which most evidently betrays that ...

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Overview


The Hungry Soul is a fascinating exploration of the natural and cultural act of eating. Kass brilliantly reveals how the various aspects of this phenomenon, and the customs, rituals, and taboos surrounding it, relate to universal and profound truths about the human animal and its deepest yearnings.

"Kass is a distinguished and graceful writer. . . . It is astonishing to discover how different is our world from that of the animals, even in that which most evidently betrays that we too are animals—our need and desire for food."—Roger Scruton, Times Literary Supplement

"Yum."—Miss Manners

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Eating, observes Kass, a physician and biochemist who teaches literature and philosophy at the University of Chicago, is a ``great paradox.'' To preserve life, individuals necessarily destroy life. Yet, he argues, if this urgent, most basic animal necessity is humanized through table manners, hospitality, sharing, good conversation and ritual, eating becomes a means to celebrate and broaden human community, friendship and values. This stimulating, original philosophical inquiry views eating among humans as a key to our place in the natural order and as a manifestation of the ``hungry soul'' that seeks satisfaction in activities motivated by ambition, curiosity, affection and awe. Kass concludes by arguing that Jewish dietary laws are one example of a code that embodies an understanding of the ethics of eating and a reverence for life. (July)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226425689
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/1999
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 248
  • Sales rank: 474,246
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations
Credits
Foreword to the Paperback Edition
Preface
Introduction: "Good for Food . . . to Make One Wise"
1. Food and Nourishing: The Primacy of Form
2. The Human Form: Omnivorosus Erectus
3. Host and Cannibal: From Fressen to Essen
4. Enhancing Uprightness: Civilized Eating
5. Freedom, Friendship, and Philosophy: From Eating to Dining
6. Sanctified Eating: A Memorial of Creation
Conclusion: The Hungry Soul and the Perfecting of Our Nature
Notes
Index
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