OCC Masterclass: Recipes for Life – Meaning and Purpose on a Plate with Julian Baggini


18 January 2021

18 January 2021

OCC Masterclass: Recipes for Life - Meaning and Purpose on a Plate with Julian Baggini

About OCC Masterclass: Recipes for Life – Meaning and Purpose on a Plate with Julian Baggini

Join Julian Baggini for a philosophical exploration of finding purpose and direction in professional life. In a sector where work is often hard, precarious and not perceived to be of high status, a clear sense of what gives our careers value is especially important.

Philosophers have not always been kind about devotion to food. Plato refused to accept that cookery was an art because he believed it is simply about gratifying pleasure and so “never regards either the nature or reason of that pleasure to which she devotes herself”. However, in his award-winning book, The Virtues of the Table, Baggini argues that a humane, grounded philosophy fully embraces the value and importance of food and eating.

A career in food can be a rich one which teaches us lessons about the importance of finding out for yourself, interdependence, the rhythms of life and nature, stewardship of the Earth, compassion for animals, fairness and justice in the supply chain, respect for tradition that is not  slavish, having the right attitude to technology and innovation, the value of ritual and routine, gratitude, aesthetic appreciation, true conviviality and mindfulness. Cooking can help bring human life to its full potential when it recognises, as Brillat-Savarin put it, that whereas other animals feed, only humans eat.

As well as considering how a life in food can and should be rewarding despite its difficulties, we’ll also be considering the issues that face anyone choosing a life where the present is difficult, the future is uncertain, and riches unlikely. The session promises to be thought-provoking and life-affirming.


  • Philosophical conceptions of the good life
  • The human animal and human flourishing
  • The role of ethics in good business
  • Adapting to a  changing world
  • The masterclass will comprise alternating short talks and Q&A, with participants being called upon to share their experience to deepen and apply theoretical insights.

Tutor profile

Dr Julian Baggini is the author, co-author or editor of over 20 books including How The World Thinks, The Virtues of the Table, The Ego Trick, Freedom Regained (all Granta) and Babette’s Feast (YBloomsbury/BFI Film Classics). He was the founding editor of The PhilosophersMagazine and has written for numerous newspapers and magazines, as well as for the think tanks The Institute of Public Policy Research, Demos and Counterpoint. He is Academic Director of the Royal institute of Philosophy and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Kent. His website is www.microphilosophy.net.

You will be sent a webinar link on the day of the masterclass.

Book tickets

18 January