Korsmeyer receives international prize

book cover.

Published November 27, 2013 This content is archived.

Carolyn Korsmeyer's book, Making Sense of Taste: Food and Philosophy (Cornell University Press, 1999), has been awarded the International Prize for 2014 by the Italian Society for Aesthetics. Her book explores the neglected gustatory sense of taste and its claims for aesthetic status. This is a biennial award for a book by an international scholar. The Society will sponsor a translation of the book into Italian and formally bestow the award in May, 2014.

Food and Philosophy

“A study of taste and its proper activities takes us into territory involving perception and cognition, symbolic function and social values. ”
Carolyn Korsmeyer, Professor
Department of Philosophy

Taste, perhaps the most intimate of the five senses, has traditionally been considered beneath the concern of philosophy, too bound to the body, too personal and idiosyncratic. Yet, in addition to providing physical pleasure, eating and drinking bear symbolic and aesthetic value in human experience, and they continually inspire writers and artists.

In Making Sense of Taste, Carolyn Korsmeyer explains how taste came to occupy so low a place in the hierarchy of senses and why it is deserving of greater philosophical respect and attention. Korsmeyer begins with the Greek thinkers who classified taste as an inferior, bodily sense; she then traces the parallels between notions of aesthetic and gustatory taste that were explored in the formation of modern aesthetic theories. She presents scientific views of how taste actually works and identifies multiple components of taste experiences.


Professor Carolyn Korsmeyer's chief research areas are aesthetics and emotion theory. She recently completed a study of disgust as an aesthetic response entitled Savoring Disgust: The Foul and the Fair in Aesthetics. She also works in the area of feminist philosophy, and her latest book on this subject is Gender in Aesthetics: An Introduction (2004).