FOOD FOR THOUGHT: The Book
During the making of the TV series, the students and philosophers were joined by writer/ philosopher Jeroen Hopster who created the book "Food for Thought", a philosophy-cookbook.
Each chapter of the book focuses on one philosophical perspective that helps us find answers to crucial life questions: timeless questions that we can endlessly ruminate on, but that are more pressing than ever. The book presents the insights gained from our conversations, reflections, and cooking in a fun and accessible way.
Printed in a compact and colourful edition and fully illustrated, it also includes all the recipes of the dinners prepared throughout the TV Series. A must-have.
The paperback is sold out, but a small number is still available through the film production company.
writer / philosopher
Jeroen Hopster (1987) is a philosopher and historian. He studied at the universities of Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Melbourne, and Harvard and will graduate from Utrecht University in 2019 with a thesis on evolution and moral objectivity. Hopster is an editor of the Dutch magazine 'Wijsgerig Perspectief' and regularly writes for the magazine 'Filosofie'. In 2015 he was nominated for the Jan Hanlo Essay Prize Klein, for an essay on David Attenborough and love in the animal kingdom. In 2018 Hopster published 'The Other Turn: How Could Life Have Changed?', a philosophical exploration of historical possibilities and 'what if questions'.
In the media
The book Food for Thought: World Philosophy at the Kitchen Table (Ten Have) written by Jeroen Hopster is about the art of having a good conversation at the dinner table. Renee Prenger (Elle) talks to the author.
What is a good conversation?
"A conversation is good if you come to very different insights at the end of it. If you can broaden your own framework and get an understanding for other perspectives."
How do you ensure that a conversation goes beyond: what did you do today?
"This can be brought about by asking simple and general questions, such as: 'what do you think is really important?' With such a broad question the conversation is immediately open and can go in all directions and lead to surprising insights.
Listening well is very important in a conversation. Use your attention, allow the other person to open up their story, and let them finish before you cut them off or change the subject. We often are already judging and therefore forget to listen carefully. Let in what the other person says first before you react. 'Take the words of someone else seriously and assume that your interlocutor is sincere. Do not question each other's words immediately.'
Be honest if you know little about a topic. Do not just claim something. You might think that this is what causes a conversation to stop, but I think the opposite happens. Because when you know little about a subject, there is room to learn and to be surprised. If you pretend to understand everything, there is little that can bring you new insights.
Finally, communication is not just speaking. A silence shows that you are listening without wanting to express your own opinion immediately. Knowing when to keep your mouth closed allows you to learn through experience. Speaking with attention and keeping silent at the right moments ensures that a conversation becomes more sincere."