American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 92, Issue 1, Winter 2018

Ambrose Little, OP
Pages 1-20

Are You What You Eat or Something More?

The question “Are you what you eat?” is ultimately a question about change. When we eat, are the nutrients from the food simply added to the biological complex we call the body or are the nutrients a product of substantial change? The scientific literature on digestion often describes the process in the former manner, which, if it were the only way to describe the data, would prove problematic to an Aristotelian and Thomist philosophy. However, the interpretation of the scientific data is not so simple and can be understood within the framework of a broad range of philosophical perspectives. This paper is an attempt to show how it is possible to reconcile the scientific data of digestion with an Aristotelian-Thomistic natural philosophy.