Gustare e parlare

  • Rosalia Cavalieri


The aim of this article is to draw attention to the sense of taste and point out to its intrinsic linguistic character. As a sensory device associated with the appetites and desires of animals, taste has been relegated (in the philosophical tradition of Western thought) to the rank of 'lesser sense'. The act and capability of tasting, along with the pleasure of sharing the taste in a convivial environment, is one way of revealing the cognitive link between sensation and language that is a species-specific feature of humans, one of the many forms our experience assumes when revealing our 'linguistic mind'. A common cliché considers taste and all the acts linked to it (such as eating, drinking, tasting, cooking) a frivolous and trivial subject, which is foreign to the abstract and inevitably 'dry' philosophical knowledge. I will emphasize on the philosophical relevance of this subject and stress on its importance in cognitive processes, social and emotional relations, and what makes us human. Along with hearing (albeit for different reasons), taste emerges as the 'most linguistic' of all senses, which involves and elicits the linguistic act through the practice of conviviality; its species-specificity is due above all to the fact that only a soul endowed with a linguistic mind can discern and appreciate flavours. It is not by chance that humans are the only animals capable of conceiving, cooking, enjoying and recounting the feelings about a food.


How to Cite
Cavalieri, R. (2012) “Gustare e parlare”, Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del Linguaggio, 0(SFL), pp. 65-73. Available at: (Accessed: 1December2021).