Confessions of an English Opium Eaterevaluates life from the perspective of digestion instead of cognition. The text mounts a critique of Kant's transcendental philosophy that tests the freedom of reason against the fate of eating. De Quincey's “The Last Days of Immanuel Kant” relates details of the philosopher's life and diet that corroborate this critique. Opium becomes the hero of the Confessionsbecause eating it changes De Quincey physiologically, forcing him to confront the body's materiality. From the opium eater's perspective, the beautiful and the sublime occur as effects, not of representation, but of incorporation, giving rise to the possibility of material thought. A specialized diet also challenges the norms of public medicine, such as those expressed in Thomas Beddoes's Hygiea, which grounds public health in private reflection and responsibility. De Quincey's Confessionsaffirms a subjectivity that is the effect of daily dosing.