Synopses & Reviews
From the dawn of civilization, human beings have bent elbows together to consume beer. The stonecutters and laborers who built the Egyptian pyramids did it – and even today, what is more thirst quenching than a good beer at the end of a hard day? Beer is the most democratic of all beverages, making it an excellent vehicle for examining everyday life.
Beer & Philosophy is written for beer lovers who want to think while they drink. It playfully explores a multitude of philosophical questions:
What is the definition of an authentic beer and is its goodness context-dependent?
Is it preferable to drink large quantities of Pabst Blue Ribbon or better to consume smaller amounts of Chimay Blue Grande Réserve?
Can the existence of high quality brew be used to prove the theory of Intelligent Design?
The contributors to this volume present intriguing and often humorous arguments for how complex philosophical concerns are intrinsically linked to something as prosaic as quaffing a pint with friends.
“…is well written and interesting as well as accessible for a casual reader coming across new and interesting ideas.”(What's Brewing, January 2008)
Don't be intimidated. This enjoyable tome is for anyone who has ever peeled a beer label and declared, 'I drink, therefore I am'"
-Joe Sixpack, Philadelphia Daily News
“Whether your glass is half full or half empty, break out your favorite beers and contemplate the Socrates and Platos of our time. Beer & Philosophy could provoke, prod, inspire and antagonize every one of the world's beer drinkers.”
-Charlie Papazian, author, The Complete Joy of Homebrewing and Microbrewed Adventures
"There has recently been a proliferation of stimulating "philosophy of" volumes, treating topics from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to poker. But what could be more philosophically worthy than that noble draught of hop and grain? Pour yourself a cold one -- preferably your favorite craft or home brew -- have a sit with this volume, and prepare to see the mysteries of the universe unravel, or at least seem a little less pressing."
-John M. Doris, Washington University in St. Louis
“Originally developed as the final installment in an Epicurean Trilogy the book stands on its own as a collection of essays on beer and its place in history its role in our lives and contributions to humanity” “Beer & Philosophy
is a post exam tonic for those normally immersed in academic texts and a delightful diversion for your average post grad beer nerd” (Yankee Brew News
“It turns out that not only have reputable psychologists at well-respected institutions done experimental studies on this effect, but it also serves as a kind of foul point for various philosophical questions. The works set out to address the intersection between philosophy and areas of everyday general concern: food, wine, and beer. In addition to straightforward philosophical discussions, the volumes include historical discussions, legal questions, some personal reflections. Beer and Philosophy … includes essays that encourage the next step of engaging philosophers themselves, has the fewest contributions with only a tangential link to philosophy … and discusses a wide range of issues.” (Gastronomica, Fall 2008)
"[T]his really is a superb and accessible book, that dares to take a different angle towards beer-writing. It’s funny, knowing and well-written and much recommended" (British Guild of Beer Writers, November 2007 Newsletter)
"Much of this book is well written and interesting as well as accessible for a casual reader coming across new and interesting ideas." (What's Brewing)
“A truly well rounded view…and a critical reflection on what and how we eat can contribute to a robust enjoyment of gastronomic pleasures.” (Gourmet Retailer)
“You’re bound to come away from the reading experiences forever changed in the way you think about beer.” (Celebrator Beer News)
A beer-lovers' book which playfully examines a myriad of philosophical concerns related to beer consumption.
- Effectively demonstrates how real philosophical issues exist just below the surface of our everyday activities
- Divided into four sections: The Art of the Beer; The Ethics of Beer: Pleasures, Freedom, and Character; The Metaphysics and Epistemology of Beer; and Beer in the History of Philosophy
- Uses the context of beer to expose George Berkeley’s views on fermented beverages as a medical cure; to inspect Immanuel Kant’s transcendental idealism through beer goggles, and to sort out Friedrich Nietzsche’s simultaneous praise and condemnation of intoxication
- Written for beer-lovers who want to think while they drink
About the Author
Steven D. Hales is Professor of Philosophy at Bloomsburg University. He received a PhD from Brown University and specializes in epistemology and metaphysics. A prolific writer, Hales was the 2006 recipient of the Bloomsburg University teaching award.
Table of Contents
Foreword: Michael Jackson.
Editor’s Introduction: Steven D. Hales (Bloomsburg University).
Part I: The Art of the Beer:.
1. Thirst for Authenticity: An Aesthetics of the Brewer’s Art: Dale Jacquette (Pennsylvania State University).
2. The Beer Matrix: Reality vs Facsimile in Brewing: Garrett Oliver (Brooklyn Brewery).
3. The Truth About Beer: Michael P. Lynch (University of Connecticut).
4. Good Beer, or How to Properly Dispute Taste: Peter Machamer (University of Pittsburgh).
5. Quality, Schmality: Talking Naturally about the Aesthetics of Beer; or, Why is American Beer So Lousy?: Martin Stack (Rockhurst University) and George Gale (University of Missouri).
6. Extreme Brewing in America: Sam Calagione (Dogfish Head Craft Brewing).
Part II: The Ethics of Beer: Pleasures, Freedom, and Character:.
7. Mill v. Miller, or Higher and Lower Pleasures: Steven D. Hales (Bloomsburg University).
8. Beer and Autonomy: Alan McLeod (Senior Legal Counsel for the City of Kingston, Ontario).
9. Another Pitcher? On Beer, Friendship, and Character: Jason Kawall (Colgate University).
Part III: The Metaphysics and Epistemology of Beer:.
10. Beer and Gnosis: The Mead of Inspiration: Theodore Schick (Muhlenberg College).
11. The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Beer: Neil A. Manson (University of Mississippi).
12. What’s a Beer Style?: Matt Dunn (University of Indiana at Bloomington).
Part IV: Beer in the History of Philosophy:.
13. Drink on, the Jolly Prelate Cries: David Hilbert (University of Illinois at Chicago).
14. Beer Goggles and Transcendental Idealism: Steven M. Bayne (Fairfield University).
15. Beyond Grolsch and Orval: Beer, Intoxication, and Power in Nietzsche’s Thought: Rex Welshon (University of Colorado at Colorado Springs).