International Journal of Applied Philosophy

Volume 36, Issue 1, Spring 2022

S.K. Wertz
Pages 41-47

Food Dynamics
Reflections on Brillat-Savarin’s Physiology of Taste

As an account of food, associationism has shortcomings as an explana­tion of taste and eating. It maintains that only ideas are associated or related to one another and not perceptions. Perceptions, according to this theory, are independent of one another. Food presents a challenge for associationism because food has a cogni­tive dimension, i.e., judgments are made about its ingredients, presentation, order or sequence of tasting, and so on. Consequently, the scientific field of dynamics offers a viable alternative explanation with its focus on change or reactions which take place in baking and cooking. An understanding of food chemistry leads to a greater appreciation of what one tastes and eats. This approach and emphasis on food chemistry was first appreciated by Brillat-Savarin in his La Physiologie du Gout (1825), and contemporary reflections are made on his treatise.