Eating as Natural Event and as Intersubjective Phenomenon: Towards a Phenomenology of Eating
The consumption of food and drink becomes a fully human activity only when it takes place within a realm of hospitality. When thus situated a meal gathers together not only families, friends and neighbors, but it is also brings together divine and mortal being and unites in common courtesy the living and the dead. Natural scientific insights into human food consumption make their greatest contribution to our understanding when we situate these within the larger context of intersubjective relations. Anorexia, bulimia, alcoholism and other forms of compulsive and unhappy consumption of natural substances all can be understood as doomed attempts to eat and drink outside the humanizing sphere of reciprocity and hospitality.