Learning to See Food Justice: Stories about Food, Freedom, and Politics


Dr. Beth A. Dixon

Department of Philosophy, S.U.N.Y. Plattsburgh 

How do we learn to see what matters ethically?  On one reading of Aristotle, ethical perception is a kind of “discernment” or “faculty of discrimination” involving an agent’s responsiveness to the ethically salient features of a concrete situation.  From Aristotle I appropriate the idea that what the moral agent grasps when she sees what is ethically salient are the concrete particulars of the situation she faces rather than universals, general rules, or principles.  The applied domain of my discussion is food justice. The question I am interested in is whether or not we can contribute to the cultivation of ethical perception in this area by focusing on some kinds of narratives about food, or certain kinds of contextual background conditions about food practices.