Volume 33, 2017
Power and Public Reason
Paul B. Thompson
From Field to Fork and on to Philosophy
Response to Commentators
Jeffrey Brown, Greg Hoskins and Elizabeth Sperry pose questions about three different policy questions that are discussed in From Field to Fork: Food Ethics for Everyone: policy interventions to address obesity, welfare guidelines for egg production, and the safety of genetically engineered foods. However all three critiques turn on the question of what we can expect a non-specialist to know, and how much information they can be expected to process in making an ethical decision about what to eat. My response situates each question within literature on so-called “fast” and “slow” thinking. I argue that while ethical theories appear to have supposed that people are slow thinkers who can be expected to process a great deal of complexity, food ethics must be founded on principles that respect the habitual and heuristic basis of much eating behavior.