Understanding hunger is the key to understanding ourselves. While they seem the most obvious things about us, our hungers are also deeply mysterious, arising out of, and casting light on, the unique character of human consciousness. In humans, physiological need is transformed into a multitude of needs that are remote from organic necessity. Even first-level biological hunger is experienced differently in humans; and little in human feeding behaviour has any parallel in the animal kingdom.In this book, Ray Tallis takes us through the different levels of our hunger. Out of our primary appetites arise a myriad of pleasures and tastes that are elaborated in second-level hedonistic hungers creating new values. The evolution of appetite into desire opens the way to social hungers such as the hunger for acknowledgement. Awareness of death awakens a further level of hunger for something that lies beyond the pell-mell of successive experiences leading towards extinction. The art of living is the art of managing our hungers.
Raymond Tallis was Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Manchester until he left to become a full-time writer in 2006.
Hors d'oeuvre: human is hungry 1. The first hunger 2. Hedonistic hunger: foodism and beyond 3. The hunger for others 4. The fourth hunger 5. Ending hunger
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