(University of Copenhagen) PhD course: Food, Health and Philosophy in East and West


Food, Health and Philosophy in East and West
interfaces between science, culture and business

NB: New dates: 29 March-8 April 2016

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Food and health traditions have become globalized. On the other hand, diet and health views differ widely around the world and are not determined alone by food availability, health care, technology and science. On the other hand, cultural and philosophical views of nature and the human body are also important. What determines what we eat and how we stay healthy; natural science, culture, philosophy or religion? Is food just fuel for the body machine, or is food ≈ medicine? Can “functional foods” be defined? How does academic food and health sciences relate to business, culture and philosophy of life? The answers vary among different parts of the world. More insights may lead to better communication.

This broadening PhD course aims to give PhD students an improved understanding of the scientific, cultural and philosophical background for specific diet habits and health views. We couple field work (universities, hospitals, food markets, religious sites) with insights into the basics of natural, social and human sciences (the 3 main academic domains). Specifically, we compare some traditions of the Western world with those in the Far East (i.e. China). This makes us aware of the potentials and the limitations of Western scientific thought and its role in diet and health globalization.

The course is highly inter-disciplinary and contains topics from very different disciplines (food science, nutrition, medicine, pharmacology, business, sociology, philosophy, religion). Open-minded, fruitful cross-talks among these different fields aim to support PhD students from the food-health area to place their own scientific topic into a greater methodological perspective.