Philosophers spend a lot of time with other philosophers. This is so even when they work alone. For a good part of philosophical work involves reading, and reflecting upon, what philosophers have written. Naturally, such work rarely takes place in a vacuum, and philosophers often think carefully about the appropriate setting for engaging with one or another thinker: the most conducive music, lighting, seating, and so forth, for engaging with Descartes, Kant, or whoever. An important, although less oft-remarked, component of appropriate setting involves the selection of snacks and beverages that will best accompany the works of particular philosophers.
In some cases, such a decision may be made on prudential grounds: getting through the work of one or another philosopher may demand intake of a quantity of caffeine, and the promise of chocolate. In other cases, the decision may be made on aesthetic grounds: appreciation of the nuance of a thinker’s work may demand the careful application of Earl Grey tea, for example.
Here, I make some preliminary suggestions about some reasonable pairings, in the hope that this may be at the service of further reflection and discussion.
Plato: Cheese and fruit; posset or wine.
Aristotle: Digestive biscuits; water.
Aquinas: Custard tarts; mead.
Descartes: Angel cake; lemonade.
Spinoza: Ginger nut biscuits; espresso.
Newton: Apple strudel; ginger beer.
Locke: Madeleine cake; coke.
Leibniz: Chocolate Hobnobs; Ribena.
Berkeley: Doesn’t matter; orange juice.
Hume: Sandwiches; red wine.
Kant: Rich Tea biscuits; Lapsang Souchong tea.