Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics

2014 Edition
| Editors: Paul B. Thompson, David M. Kaplan

Derrida and Eating

  • Kelly OliverEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-0929-4_283
  • 648 Downloads

Synonyms

Hospitality and food; Meat: ethical considerations

Introduction

Jacques Derrida makes an analogy between eating other beings or substances and assimilating others’ values and ideals. He makes a distinction between assimilating others – whether food or other people – in ways that nourish and ways that conquer them as trophies. Through this analogy, Derrida is concerned to develop an ethics that respects one’s differences from others while acknowledging that one needs to eat or assimilate others in order to live. He makes a connection regarding what is good to eat in both physical and moral senses.

What Is Good to Eat?

In the interview “Eating Well,” Derrida wonders whether a head of state (chef d’Etat) could gain office by declaring him (or herself) a vegetarian and concludes, “the chief (chef) must be an eater of flesh” (Derrida 1991, p. 114). In the United States, political leaders are often seen hunting, particularly bird hunting, which seems to demonstrate their manly...
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References

  1. Calarco, M. (2004). Deconstruction is not vegetarianism: Humanism, subjectivity, and animal ethics. Continental Philosophy Review, 37, 175–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Derrida. (1972). Plato’s Pharmacy, in Dissemination. Trans Barbara Johnson: Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Derrida, J. (1991). “Eating Well”, or the calculation of the subject: An interview with Jacques Derrida. In E. Cadava, P. Connor, & J.-L. Nancy (Eds.), Who comes after the subject (pp. 96–119). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Derrida, J. (2002). The Animal that Therefore I Am (more to follow) (trans: Wills, D.). Critical Inquiry, 28(2) (Winter), 369–418.Google Scholar
  5. Derrida, J. (2005). Rogues (trans: Brault, P.-A., & Naas, M.). Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Derrida, J. (2008). The Animal that Therefore I am (trans: Wills, D.). New York: Fordham University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Wood, D. (1999). Comment ne pas manger – Deconstruction and humanism. In P. Steeves (Ed.), Animal others: On ethics, ontology and animal life (pp. 15–35). Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA