Imagination and evolution of taste


  • Reni Yankova New Bulgarian University



Imagination, taste, culinary evolution, Knowledge, creativity, digitalization


Taste is a complex biological, cultural and even psychological phenomenon. We can trace both significant differences and significant similarities in taste quite easily, if we observe human communities in different regions, countries and continents. For example, it is no surprise that most of us share a passion for sweet taste and might dislike bitter or sour. At different ages, people appreciate a variety of foods and drinks and preferences usually change due to physical and social exposure to a given diet. One thing that remains clear is that our taste constantly evolves, notwithstanding whether we discuss taste as a personal system of preferences or if we analyze it as a social convention of favoured sensory experiences. The evolution of taste is a multidirectional process and its roots can be traced back to biology, geography, cultural and social studies, religion, etc. However, in the current paper we will focus on a less examined perspective which seems to offer a fruitful research direction. How does thinking and creativity influence the evolution of taste? How important is our imagination in the taste formation process? Are we able to create an unprecedented dish or we are obliged to follow certain rules and predispositions in our creative culinary experiments? In order to answer these questions, we will start by looking at imagination itself. We will trace this idea back to Aristotle and Kant to define the essence of this controversial philosophical concept and to specify its function in reasoning. Then we will analyze certain aspects of creativity in taste, in order to observe the evolution of certain culinary tendencies. Last but not least we will focus on the influence of social media and the digital communication. Does digital living today improve the culinary imagination or not? Is the culinary evolution in the XXI century triggered by the social media and ease of access to information online?


Ackrill, J. L. 1963. Aristotle: Categories and De Interpretatione. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Apel, K. 1971. From Kant to Peirce: The Semiotical Transformation of Transcendental Logic. In Beck, L. W. (ed.). Proceedings of the Third International Kant Congress: Held at the University of Rochester, March 30–April 4, 1970. Dordrecht: Reidle, 90–104.

Apel, K. 1981. From Pragmatism to Pragmaticism. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.

Bosley, A. 1996. Immanuel Kant’s theory of experience. [Thesis/dissertation]. University of Ottawa.

Bronowski, J. 1967. “The Reach of Imaginationâ€. The American Scholar, Vol. 36, No. 2, 193–201.

Deely, J. 1990. Basics of Semiotics. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.

Deely, J. 2001. Four Ages of Understanding. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Descartes, R. 2006. A Discourse on the Method of Correctly Conducting One’s Reason and Seeking Truth in the Sciences. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press.

Foucault, M. 1979. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. New York: Vintage Books.

Kaag, J. J. 2014. Thinking through the Imagination. New York: Fordham University Press.

Kant, I. 1911. The Critique of Judgement. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kant, I. 1929. The Critique of Pure Reason. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Kant, I. 1972. Kant’s Introduction to Logic and his Essay on the Mistaken Subtilty of the Four Figures. Westport: Greenwood Press.




How to Cite

Yankova, R. (2021). Imagination and evolution of taste. Digital Age in Semiotics & Communication, 4, 133–145.