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Philosophy of Food, Short Course

  • Application Deadline
  • 16 days
University rank #63 (ARWU) Helsinki, Finland
This Philosophy of Food course at University of Helsinki examines philosophical and ethical aspects of human interactions with the natural world, especially regarding the sustainable production of food.
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With a rapidly growing population and consumption, humans affect the environment in ever-more detrimental ways. 

Roughly half of the Earth’s habitable land is dedicated to food, and about three-quarters of this for livestock. Food production is set within a larger context of environmental ethics: how do we value nature? We will examine such concepts as intrinsic value, species protection, and wilderness. 

Ultimately we must ask: How can humanity attain ‘strong sustainability’, which allows both ourselves and nature at large to flourish in the long run?

Learn­ing Ob­ject­ives

This Philosophy of Food course at University of Helsinki introduces students to the new concept of a ‘philosophy of food’, as an aspect of the broader notions of sustainability and environmental ethics.

Students will learn basic concepts in philosophical ethics, especially the concepts of intrinsic value, instrumentality, deep ecology, and strong sustainability. 

Food production will be cast in terms of trade-offs with nature, and with respect to human health and well-being. 

Notions of sufficiency, luxury, and needs vs wants will be explained, particularly in the context of a modern technological society. 

Students will develop skills that enable them to analyse food as a philosophical problem and find holistic solutions to the prevailing unsustainability of the food system.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • More details:

    However, the students of the University of Helsinki may apply until 17 July

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 16 days
  • Credits
    5 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Course Format And Teach­ing Meth­ods:

  • The course consists of lectures, in-class discussions, group work, readings, and a variety of short written assignments. 
  • On two or three class days, students will visit local restaurants as a part of their class session.

English Language Requirements

This programme may require students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

General Requirements

  • This course examines food from a multidisciplinary perspective, making use of anthropology, biology, ecology, sociology, psychology, economics, and philosophy. 
  • Students of these fields – advanced Bachelor’s level or at the Master’s level – are warmly invited to take this course.
  • It is recommended for students in their 3rd year or beyond.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    990 EUR/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 990 EUR for the full programme and a duration of 16 days.
  • EU/EEA

    990 EUR/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 990 EUR for the full programme and a duration of 16 days.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.
  • Degree and PhD students: Early Bird 900 EUR / normal fee 990 EUR
  • Helsinki Summer School and University of HelsinkiAlumni receive a 50 EUR discount of the course fee, provided they do not already study at the University of Helsinki.

Living costs for Helsinki

  • 975 - 1590 EUR/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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