The Philosopher's Table (Paperback)

How to Start Your Philosophy Dinner Club - Monthly Conversation, Music, and Reci pes

By Marietta McCarty

TarcherPerigee, 9781585429264, 272pp.

Publication Date: August 29, 2013

List Price: 15.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


"Talk doesn't cook rice." —Chinese Proverb

According to Socrates, knowledge is "food for the soul." That's all well and good for the Socratic but, according to Maslow, food for the stomach is a far more pressing matter.

But why can't you have your talk, and cook rice too? With The Philosopher's Table, Marietta McCarty shows you that you can. In this book, you will find all of the necessary ingredients to start a Philosophy Dinner Club, taking a monthly tour around the world with friends to sample hors d'oeuvres of succulent wisdom and fill your plate with food from each philosophers' home country. With recipes, theories, and insights both old and new—all peppered with McCarty's charming and informative prose—you and your friends will:

—Enjoy fresh homemade lamb meatballs and tzatziki, and the simple pleasures of life in Epicurus's ancient Greek garden.
—Practice nonviolence (in life and at the dinner table) while sharing tofu curry with Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi.
—Learn the fundamentals of rational decision-making with a mouthful of bratwurst from Germany's Immanuel Kant
—In the spirit of accepting change, ditch the familiar take-out containers and dine on homemade shrimp dumplings with China's Lao Tzu.
—And so much more!

Complete with McCarty's recommendations for ethnic music from each region to enjoy during your gatherings and discussion questions to prompt debate, The Philosopher's Table contains everything you need to leave your host's home brimming with both nutritional and mental satisfaction.

About the Author

Marietta McCarty is the author of Little Big Minds: Sharing Philosophy with Kids (a New York Times Extended List bestseller) and How Philosophy Can Save Your Life: 10 Ideas That Matter Most (Winner of the Nautilus National Book Award). For over two decades, she taught philosophy at Piedmont Virginia Community College in Charlottesville, Virginia. Now a writer by trade, she travels around the country speaking and hosting events about philosophy to groups of all ages.

Praise For The Philosopher's Table: How to Start Your Philosophy Dinner Club - Monthly Conversation, Music, and Reci pes

“You could say my life has been a succession of big dinners enjoyed with as many of my friends and family that can be squeezed around the table—all eating, talking, and laughing. I have sometimes wondered which part I enjoy the most. Is it the tasty meal, the flowing wine, or the boisterous conversation that so often ensues as a result of the first two elements? Marietta McCarty goes at it rather brilliantly from another angle, encouraging you to put the lively conversation first. Choose a philosophical topic from her book, and it comes matched with a dinner menu and music list. Invite a few friends, neighbors, and colleagues, and voila! Welcome to the first seating of your own Philosophy Dinner Club.”

Tom Douglas, executive chef, restaurateur, and author

“Introspective readers may find this book to be just the therapeutic read—and culinary guidance—they’ve been needing.”

Northern Virginia Magazine

"The Philosopher's Table is enchanting...a bulls-eye gift. Very small. Very smart. Very self-assured."

Beatrix Ost, author of My Father's House: A Childhood in Wartime Bavaria

"For anyone who fears philosophy or feels unable to find an entry to philosophy, [McCarty] provides an easy way in through culture, music, food, and conversation. The writing mirrors the subject matter: clear, thoughtful, musical, sensory.  The author gives, and the reader gets..."

Daniel J. Meador Jr., partner at Morin & Barkley LLP Attorneys at Law

“Talking with Marietta is always great fun. And reading this book is almost as much of a joy as having her in the room with you. If you like ideas and you like food, you are holding in your hands an ideal companion.”

Tom Graham, host of WMRA's NPR talk show Virginia Insight