I Eat Therefore I Am: An Essay on Human and Animal Mutuality

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This essay provides an overview of seminal examples of Western thought (including the Bible, Plato, Hegel, Nietzsche, Freud and Heidegger) in which food features as a means to the conceptual differentiation of the human from the animal. Such an approach allows the emergence of a “structure” (in the Deleuzian sense) that seems to underlie the production of these distinctions. It is, paradoxically, human and animal mutuality – as this is manifested in their common need for, and consumption of, food – that has been utilised as their “differentiator” in the Western tradition and it is this, I argue, that renders possible the functions of what Agamben calls the “anthropological machine.”
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-79
Number of pages7
JournalAngelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • food
  • human
  • animal
  • mutuality
  • diffferentiation
  • potentiality


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