The Philosopher’s Table

The Philosopher’s Table:
How to Start Your Philosophy Dinner Club-Monthly Conversation, Music, and Recipes
by Marietta McCarty


Published by
Tarcher / Penguin



Buy the Book

Signed and personalized copies of all three books by Marietta are now available through Stone Soup Books. Contact us here with the details of your request. Books can be picked up in the Charlottesville/Waynesboro VA area as well as shipped worldwide.

Also available at these locations and more:

Barnes and Noblemac_in_a_box
IndieBound (Local Independent Bookstores)
iTunes Store (iBook)
New Dominion Bookshop
PVCC BookStore (Call 434.961.5317)

Right: Marietta’s cat, Mac, almost went home with one lucky customer!


About the Book

Picture this. A lively group of thinkers gathers as the music plays—hungry for camaraderie, discussion of a topic of mutual interest, and dinner. Everyone arrives with food and drink contributions that complement the dishes prepared by the welcoming host. Each month another member of the group sets a different cultural table for a new topic, tunes, and food that represents the next stop on their twelve-month philosophical journey around the world. Honest talk and respect for differing perspectives warm each evening. Understanding of the world large and small improves lives—new ways of living present themselves as real possibilities.

Welcome to The Philosopher’s Table: How to Start Your Philosophical Dinner Club—Monthly Conversation, Music, and Recipes, the book that brings together author Marietta McCarty’s love of breaking bread over good conversation, backed by music and the laughter of individuals becoming community. Here’s food for thought and your travel itinerary laid out in twelve chapters:

  1. The Joy of Single Tasking: January in Japan
  2. Mental Clarity: February in England
  3. Persistence and Grace: March in Burma
  4. Community and the Melting Pot: April in Chicago
  5. Simple Pleasures: May in Greece
  6. Liberating Education: June in Brazil
  7. Spiritual Hunger: July in Iraq
  8. What About Love: August in Kentucky
  9. A Fruitful Ecological Solution: September in Kenya
  10. Rational Decision Making: October in Germany
  11. A Slow Dance with Nature: November in China
  12. Dare You: December in France

What can you expect in each chapter? An examination of the central topic, its importance and relevance in our lives…tips for exploring that culture through cinema, sports, geography, history, music, nature…meeting a philosopher representative of that place and particularly suited to further discussion of the dinner topic…suggestions for music to accompany the evening…ideas for what guests may bring…recipes for the host’s preparation that reflect both the topic and the culture…and at the end, a handy list of resources, philosophic, musical, and culinary, for easy reference. Six chapters feature recipes for two small-plate dishes while the others serve up three-recipe meals that always include dessert.



Left: Eager to discuss the book’s challenge of “Dare You,” a philosopher helps herself to pot-au-feu while celebrating December in France
(Photo credit: Mike Ruth).
Dining philosophers can’t get enough—of any of it! While most entertain in their homes, restaurants are taking the initiative to host events—a Sunday late afternoon devoted to food from specific regions with a discussion question as the centerpiece of each table. Some dinner clubs occasionally reserve round tables at ethnic restaurants to continue the conversation and the feast.

McCarty extends an invitation to do just what she did while writing The Philosopher’s Table: enjoy practicing the art of clear thinking through dialogue and quiet reflection, listen to and share music, and sample food that takes you to Kenya and Japan, from Brazil to Chicago. Experience the joy of relationship as you pass the carafe—and savor the freedom that comes with an open mind.