What are the responsibilities of a good host? This is the question at the heart of Megan Dean’s examination of the moral challenges that accompany a dinner invitation for host and guest alike. As Dean’s essay nicely demonstrates, a host’s ability and willingness to make omissions and adjustments on a dinner menu face greater scrutiny now that food allergies and intolerances are increasingly diagnosed and accommodated in both domestic and professional settings. This awareness seems to place greater moral demands on the host, bringing the limits of what can reasonably be accommodated into greater relief, and consequently, into areas of greater dispute. Dean’s essay is an insightful model of applied philosophy because it interrogates, rather than simply enacts, a set of principles that guide the host’s behavior; moreover, like a good host, she has invited into the discussion the support and clarity of expertise from other disciplines, encouraging a discussion...
When Knowledge Is Not Enough
Robert T. Valgenti is a philosopher, educator, and translator based in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. He was a professor of philosophy at Lebanon Valley College from 2006–2020 and is visiting researcher at the University of Turin, Italy, in 2022. His work explores the philosophy of food, contemporary Italian philosophy, and hermeneutics.
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Robert T. Valgenti; When Knowledge Is Not Enough. Gastronomica 1 August 2022; 22 (3): 72–74. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gfc.2022.22.3.72
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