David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 14 (2):217-229 (2001)
Debates over the future of agriculture in North Americaestablish a dialectical opposition between conventional,industrial agriculture and alternative, sustainable agriculture.This opposition has roots that extend back to the 18th century inthe United States, but the debate has taken a number ofsurprising turns in the 20th century. Originally articulated as aphilosophy of the left, industrial agriculture has utilitarianmoral foundations. In the US and Canada, the articulation of analternative to industrial agriculture has drawn upon threecentral themes: the belief that agriculture is, in some way, tiedto democracy; the belief that complex bureaucratic organizationsare inherently opposed to human interests; and the belief thatthe family farms characteristic of 19th century North Americatend to produce people of superior moral character. It has proveddifficult to weave these themes into a coherent vision ofagriculture for the 21st century. Often, risk and health-basedconcerns are the basis for public criticism of conventionalagriculture, but these do not conflict with the utilitarianorientation of the industrial model, and are easily incorporatedinto it. If there is to be a philosophical debate over the futureof agriculture, we must find some way to rehabilitate thequasi-Aristotelean view of agriculture that emerges from thethree critical themes noted above.
|Keywords||agrarianism industrial agriculture sustainable agriculture US agricultural history virtue ethics|
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Citations of this work BETA
Raymond Anthony (2012). Building a Sustainable Future for Animal Agriculture: An Environmental Virtue Ethic of Care Approach Within the Philosophy of Technology. [REVIEW] Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 25 (2):123-144.
Paul B. Thompson (2008). The Agricultural Ethics of Biofuels: A First Look. [REVIEW] Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 21 (2):183-198.
Paul B. Thompson (2008). Agrarian Philosophy and Ecological Ethics. Science and Engineering Ethics 14 (4):527-544.
Benjamin R. Cohen (2009). The Once and Future Georgic: Agricultural Practice, Environmental Knowledge, and the Place for an Ethic of Experience. [REVIEW] Agriculture and Human Values 26 (3):153-165.
M. Gjerris, C. Gamborg, H. Röcklinsberg & R. Anthony (2011). The Price of Responsibility: Ethics of Animal Husbandry in a Time of Climate Change. [REVIEW] Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 24 (4):331-350.
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