Eating the World: The Constitution of the Self in Ayurveda and Hegel

  • Lord Dhanvantari

What is the self, in Ayurveda and Hegel?

Project Abstract

Using food as the paradigm, we investigate Ayurveda and Hegel’s concepts of the expanded self. Ayurveda, India’s traditional medicine, expands the self to encompass food, tools, family, and neighbors. Hegel further expands the self to include the nation and, potentially, humanity. The expanded self finds expression in Walt Whitman’s “I am large, I contain multitudes” and Tavis Smiley’s “America I Am: The African American Imprint”. We examine how far the expanded self is viable and defensible. This project contributes to a deeper understanding of how what seems strange becomes familiar and, then, how what was familiar becomes strange.

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