On Making Sense of Recipes

  • Craig Fox California University of Pennsylvania
Keywords: Recipes, Wittgenstein, Aesthetics, Food, Art, Cooking, Criticism


In this paper I address some ways of making sense of, and so of understanding, recipes. I first make clear the plausibility of a recipe having aesthetic significance, thus situating recipes as continuous with other aspects of our lives and experiences, both artistic and non-artistic. My notion of “aesthetic” here derives from Ludwig Wittgenstein. Second, I also highlight how some recipes and cookbooks may actually serve another aesthetic goal: they facilitate attunement to aesthetic features of cooking and food, and to things more generally. I show how this kind of preparation is consistent with Wittgenstein’s aims in his “Lectures on Aesthetics” (1938), where he encourages a particular aesthetic attitude or predisposition.

How to Cite
Fox, C. (2020). On Making Sense of Recipes. HUMANA.MENTE Journal of Philosophical Studies, 13(38), 229-254. Retrieved from https://www.humanamente.eu/index.php/HM/article/view/327