Cibo, piacere, evoluzione

Nicola Perullo

pp. 229-238

Recent studies have shown how aesthetics can be positively investigated from an evolutionary point of view. Following this line, the present essay sets to study a new relationship between food and evolutionary aesthetics from a specific angle: I put forward the thesis that the approach with food one has in early childhood is part of the birth of an aesthetic attitude. With this, I mean that the set of taste preferences children develop is a pleasure that can be seen as an aesthetic pleasure. This pleasure –- which I call here naked pleasure – is an inextricable nexus of need, enjoyment, and affection. Beyond scientific investigations showing the importance of early nutrition (especially breast milk) for health, there are many other evidences – supported also by psychological research – in behalf of the idea that taste preferences are set from the very beginning of human life in a close relation with human environment. And this is true also for a phylogenetic perspective, given the proved connection between taste preferences and sexual selection. In the last part – taking the “Marsmellow Test” as example – I sketch a reflection on the ethical, moral and social issues depending from or co-evolving with pleasure and taste preferences.

Publication details

DOI: 10.4000/estetica.1450

Full citation:

Perullo, N. (2013). Cibo, piacere, evoluzione. Rivista di estetica 54, pp. 229-238.

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