The morality behind sustainability

The concepts of sustainable agriculture, organic agriculture, regenerative agriculture, and alternative agriculture are receiving increasing attention in the academic and popular literature on present trends and future directions of agriculture. Whatever the reasons for this interest, there nevertheless remain differences of opinion concerning what counts as a sustainable agriculture. One of the reasons for these differences is that the moral underpinnings of a policy of sustainability are not clear. By understanding the moral obligatoriness of sustainability, we can come to understand precisely what must be sustained, and by implication, how. This article discusses the arguments that can be advanced for sustaining anything and initially concludes that our obligations to future generations entail sustaining more than just sufficient food production or an adequate resource base. Indeed, a tradition of care and community must underlie whatever agricultural and resource strategies we are to develop under the rubric of sustainability. A consideration of the larger social and environmental system in which agriculture operates and the constraints this system places on agriculture forces us to recognize that sustainability has to do with larger institutional issues, including our ability to incorporate our common morality democratically into our institutions, practices, and technologies.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,351
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA
    Similar books and articles
    Jeffrey Burkhardt (1988). Crisis, Argument, and Agriculture. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 1 (2):123-138.
    Donald N. Duvick (1995). Biotechnology is Compatible with Sustainable Agriculture. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 8 (2):112-125.
    Michael C. Appleby (2005). Sustainable Agriculture is Humane, Humane Agriculture is Sustainable. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 18 (3):293-303.

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    16 ( #85,936 of 1,088,374 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,601 of 1,088,374 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.