Taste usually occupies the bottom of the sensorial hierarchy. On the one hand, it is the quintessentially hedonistic sense, too close to the animal, the elemental and the corporeal, and for this reason disciplined and moralised. On the other, it is indissolubly tied to knowledge. To taste is to discriminate, to emit judgement, to enter the domain of normativity, and a rather unstable one at that: to taste is to test, to try and to guess, wandering into an uncertain zone of synesthetic immersion where the certainty of metaphysical categories begins to crumble.
Taste is a promising tool with which to investigate the materiality of law’s relation to the world: for what else is law’s reduction of the world into legal categories, if not law’s ingesting the world by tasting it and emitting moral and legal judgements accordingly?
This second title in the interdisciplinary series ‘Law and the Senses’ explores law by using taste as a conceptual and ontological category, able to shake legal certainties by opening them to differently-flavoured avenues. At the same time, from coffee to wine, from craft cider to Japanese knotweed, the volume explores taste through the legal and socio-cultural normativities that shape the way taste is experienced, structured and valorised. The result is an original volume dedicated to a rarely-explored intersection, with contributions from artists, legal academics, philosophers, anthropologists and sociologists.
TASTE is out in April 2018.