Annemarie Mol – Physio-moral accounts – Eating pleasures and destructions

Event Date: 13 March 2014

Dana Studio,
The Science Museum’s Dana Centre
165 Queen’s Gate
London SW7 5HD


The Humanities and Arts Research Centre at Royal Holloway University of London presents:

HARC Dialogues:

The Value of Eating

Professor Annemarie Mol (Amsterdam) – Physio-moral accounts – Eating pleasures and destructions

Eating is not just factual, it is also valuable. But how to value eating? There are many modes for doing so and in this presentation I will compare and contrast a few of them. Hence, I will come to talk about two clashing ways to establish when as a person one has had enough to eat: by counting calories ingested or by appreciating satisfaction. And what about efficiency? Economic calculations will say that it may be efficient to feed chicken and sell them as and when this generates a profit. Calculating nutrients, by contrast, suggests that it is most likely more efficient if humans directly eat the chicken feed. And then there is the moral conundrum that eating is destructive. Consumers destroy their foods. They may destroy a lot along with it, but at the same time heirloom vegetables or rare animal breeds only thrive thanks to some people’s willingness to eat them. Physio-moralities are complex. And this will be my conclusion: amidst the tensions and complexities laid out, it is impossible not to act, but moral comfort is nowhere to be found.

Followed by a response from Professor Philip Crang (RHUL)


Introduction by Professor Rachel Beckles Willson (RHUL):


Professor Annemarie Mol (Amsterdam):


Response from Professor Philip Crang (RHUL):


Audience Questions:


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