This is not an umpteenth recipe book, but rather a philosophy text, albeit of a peculiar kind. This philosophy processes thought as if it were food: it prepares it, cooks it, serves it to be eaten. This book describes an analogy between food for the mind and food for the body. Although they are both very ancient activities, philosophising and cooking have often remained distant, not least because they are usually carried out by people of different gender: the kitchen is the female environment par excellence, whereas philosophy is a typical male territory. And yet knowing and eating are basically made of the same stuff and children of the same mother, as numerous metaphors suggest: devour a book, digest a concept, chew a little Latin, hunger for knowledge. In fact, food processing, much like thought processing, rests upon the ability of combining the unique with the multiple, the skill of setting off, separating and mixing elements into a universe ordered by precise laws, logic and rituals. This lively and pleasant volume leads the reader into a laboratory of culinary philosophy, or, rather, a philosophical kitchen, where for once these two worlds can come together. Eating olives and figs with Aristotle, sitting down at a table with Kant, laying down on the grass for a snack with Kierkegaard, passing the time away with Sartre during his lunches in rive gauche restaurants in Paris, peeling potatoes with Wittgenstein: this is a good way to taste new ideas and understand the magical alchemy which graces our tables.
Francesca Rigotti teaches Political Doctrines and Institutions at the University of Lugano.