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date: 19 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses ancient analyses of hunger and thirst, as well as ancient thought about the role of food in cultural identity. The chapter starts with a sketch of hunger and eating in Homer’s Odyssey, argues that Plato considers hunger and thirst as paradigmatic desires, reconstructs Aristotle’s conception of moderation as it relates to food, and explores relativist and skeptic arguments about eating-related diversity and disagreement. The central proposal is that ancient philosophers ask questions about eating that are worth including in food ethics today: questions about the nature of desire, the ways in which people should and should not shape food-related desires, and the ways in which they navigate different cultures by sharing or not sharing their eating habits.

Keywords: Homer, Plato, Aristotle, relativism, skepticism, hunger, thirst, identity, desire, culture

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