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Monday, March 15, 2021

Feuerbach’s Assertion On Man’s Nature

Ludwig Feuerbach’s assertion, “Man is what he eats,” has been interpreted in various ways. The vapid interpretation is that Feuerbach is asserting that man’s thinking is related to the food he eats. But if this were true, then the kitchens, and not the political and intellectual movements, and the revolutions and civil wars, would be the drivers of world history. This is contrary to historical evidence. Feuerbach is not talking about the food that man eats. By the phrase, “what he eats,” he means man’s economic and sociological conditions of existence taken as a whole. He is positing that every economic and social group has its own diet. Therefore, the assertion—“Man is what he eats”—can be restated as “Man is what his culture is,” or “Man is what his nation is.” Culture and geography play a major role in the dietary habits of various groups—for instance, the Europeans prefer wheat, the Asians prefer rice.

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