This essay provides an overview of seminal examples of Western thought (including the Bible, Plato, Hegel, Nietzsche, Freud and Heidegger) in which food features as a means to the conceptual differentiation of the human from the animal. Such an approach allows the emergence of a “structure” (in the Deleuzian sense) that seems to underlie the production of these distinctions. It is, paradoxically, human and animal mutuality – as this is manifested in their common need for, and consumption of, food – that has been utilised as their “differentiator” in the Western tradition and it is this, I argue, that renders possible the functions of what Agamben calls the “anthropological machine.”
© 2014 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis.
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