Wednesday, February 08, 2012

"How Things Tasted in the Early Modern Period and How They Taste Now"

Steven Shapin, Harvard University
*Wednesday February 29th, 6:00 PM*
Columbia University, 64 Morningside Drive, Faculty House, 2nd Floor

In dietetic and natural philosophical frameworks of the period from Antiquity to the seventeenth century, the subjective experiences of taste, and indeed the experiences of digestion, testified to the make-up of the world?s edible portions. That is, such subjective experiences might be both philosophically and practically reliable.
How did that framework help early modern eaters make sense of their bodies and that portion of the world that constituted their ailment?
How did that sense-making capacity change over time, as new medical and scientific frameworks emerged from the eighteenth century and, finally became scientifically dominant in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries?

Steven Shapin is Franklin L. Ford Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University.


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