The maxim of the Enlightenment Sapere aude! was not only an exhortation to think for oneself; it also marked the beginning of food’s liberation through medical advances, industrialized production, and secularization. But as the consumer age dawned, repression of bodily vulnerability grew, satiation devolved into voracity, and hedonism became society’s dominant creed. Yet even these developments could not erase the limits imposed by illness, poverty, and a festivalization of the everyday. The triad of digestibility, neediness, and humility sheds light on human embodiment, society, and transcendence.
Mădălina Diaconu studied philosophy in Bucharest and Vienna. She has been on the philosophy faculty at the University of Vienna since 2005. Between 2007 and 2010 she served as the director of Vienna’s Tast- und Duftdesign, an urban project on the architecture of taste and smell. She is on the editorial board of Studia Phaenomenologica and polylog, and on the advisory boards of The Senses & Society and Contemporary Aesthetics. She has published widely on the philosophy of the senses. Her works include Phänomenologie der Sinne (2013); De gustibus: Breviar de gastrosofie (2013); Sinnesraum Stadt: Eine multisensorische Anthropologie (2012); Tasten, Riechen, Schmecken: Eine Ästhetik der anästhesierten Sinne (2005); Sensorisches Labor Wien: Urbane Haptik- und Geruchsforschung (2011; coeditor); and Senses and the City: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Urban Sensescapes (2011; coeditor).