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  • EpistemeTechne: Kosmopolites—Basic and Applied Philosophy in Reciprocal Interaction
  • Alfonso Morales

before i begin, i would like to express my considerable gratitude to Heldke, Orosco, and Stehn for their stimulating reading of my work and their considered critiques, and to the SAAP Coss Committee for taking pains to represent a community, identifying members in the spirit of the SAAP. Indeed I must parallel and reflect the words Heldke used: "It was just fun to read . . . about a place . . . [described] by a theoretical tradition I value" (57) or Orosco locating my scholarship in ancient debates between forms of reasoning (pragmatist or positivist) about human behavior, or Stehn making me think how to better achieve the aspirations of my applied scholarship. Again, let me say, thanks to you all.

Readers made various important points and posed fascinating questions that deserve longer responses. However, before a longer discussion of more specific points, I want to make a few observations in response to questions. First, Heldke asked about how food fits into my research. Instead of explaining the variety of projects that I work with, I first would like to say that how food is produced, moved, consumed, and disposed of has motivated many of my articles and books, and will continue to do so. I am currently working at understanding and fostering knowledge about food in hospitals and other large organizations across the country, and how locally produced foods fulfill many interests in human health as well as community and economic development and prosperity (interested readers can follow my work at;;; and

This conference topic of ethos and creativity is closely aligned with our mutual interest in inquiry and practice. These topics are especially important at this moment in food systems generally, and are reflected in my scholarship on food systems and marketplaces. It should be no surprise that Socrates [End Page 71] was usually found in marketplaces, surely iterating his various roles: political, economic, social, and religious. Indeed, we should rely on behavior in public places to challenge our privately held beliefs as they develop, erode, or grow stronger through (inter)action with behavior in public. This dialogue we engage, with ourselves and with others, supports inquiry into the refining of, and eventually, the changes in our social life and in our beliefs and values, as well as how we warrant those things we might claim to embrace.

As an adherent of pragmatism, I must remind us that our interaction is a craft, one in dialogue with experience, direct and obtained through others, as we practice and produce knowledge we and others might use. The methods of our craft change in response to knowledge, scientific knowledge, and opportunities or problems as they present. I made this point topically through considering the symbolic importance of—even the mysterious significance of—La Guadalupana. However, I should make clear a social scientific point, that is, all social scientists should be methodologists, and all methodologists should get to work. Honing method, per se, is empty without reflection on application, and, for our purposes, such reflections are enriched by engagement with you, our broader community of inquiry in philosophy, dare I say it, especially American philosophy.

With this in mind, let me begin with Heldke's felicitous observation of her experience as a graduate student, and her relative inexperience with and thus wariness of that consummately "busy" place, the Maxwell Street Market. Such a guardedness was not uncommon, petty thievery was not unknown, and I lost some $20 to gentlemen who used the "shell" game to prove the hand quicker than the eye. However, her many questions about this relatively unorganized place were what attracted me to that place. Though our attitudes of the place differed, the very similarity of our questions is vitally important in helping mark precincts of various human responses to experience, and in so doing introduce ethos in terms of humanizing such difference, and creativity in answering questions and uncovering new questions to ask. Here, I begin my dissection of episteme with the idea of history and inquiry. Her observation of marketplaces more generally produced...


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pp. 71-77
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