Food in the Metaphysical Orders: Gender, Race, and the Family

  • Andrea Borghini College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, USA
Keywords: food, social constructionism, theories of gender


By looking at human practices around food, the paper brings novel evidence linking the social constructionist and the naturalist theories of gender, race, and the family, evidence that is based on the analysis of developmental trajectories. The argument rests on two main theoretical claims: (i) unlike evolutionary explanations, developmental trajectories can play a decisive role in exhibiting the biological underpinnings of kinds related to gender, race, and family; (ii) food constitutes a point of convergence between constructionist and naturalist perspectives because it embeds practices of particular significance for establishing identities of gender, race, and family that, at the same time, are rooted on skills and habits acquired through specific developmental patterns. The paper illustrates (i) and (ii) via two case studies involving women hunters and the diet of the Obamas. The latter also suggests that kinds associated to gender, race, and family are entangled.

How to Cite
Borghini, A. (2012). Food in the Metaphysical Orders: Gender, Race, and the Family. HUMANA.MENTE Journal of Philosophical Studies, 5(22), 1-23. Retrieved from