CCHU9005 Arts and Humanities

Food and Values

This course is under the thematic cluster(s) of:

  • Sustaining Cities, Cultures, and the Earth (SCCE)

Course Description

Food is a fundamental aspect of human existence. This course examines philosophical issues about food and its relation to ethics, objectivity, and values. Topics include moral issues such as the debate about animal rights, world hunger, the use of genetic engineering in agriculture, and the justification of health policies about food and drugs. We shall also look at the relationship between food and art, and the objectivity of taste. The main objective of the course is to help students adopt new perspectives in thinking critically about what they might normally take for granted in their daily lives.

Course Learning Outcomes

On completing the course, students will be able to:

  1. Compare and contrast the various absolutist, relativist and contextualist positions about morality and values.
  2. Identify the critical factors to consider in moral evaluation and apply such knowledge in analyzing selected ethical problems related to food.
  3. Critically examine the nature of subjectivity in aesthetic and taste preferences and the possibility of objective evaluative standards, and demonstrate an awareness of their connections to moral reasoning.
  4. Use relevant research information related to the course to collaborate with others in presenting ideas creatively, clearly and systematically.

Offer Semester and Day of Teaching

First semester (Wed)


Study Load

Activities Number of hours
Lectures 24
Tutorials 8
Reading / Self-study 40
Assessment: Writing assignments 50
Assessment: Special project 30
Total: 152

Assessment: 100% coursework

Assessment Tasks Weighting
Short writing assignments 70
Special project 15
Tutorial participation 15

Required Reading


Course Co-ordinator and Teacher(s)

Course Co-ordinator Contact
Dr J.Y.F. Lau
School of Humanities (Philosophy), Faculty of Arts
Tel: 3917 2796
Email: jyflau@hku.hk
Teacher(s) Contact
Dr J.Y.F. Lau
School of Humanities (Philosophy), Faculty of Arts
Tel: 3917 2796
Email: jyflau@hku.hk