Abstract
This paper concerns virtue-based ethical principles that bear upon agricultural uses of technologies, such as GM crops and CRISPR crops. It does three things. First, it argues for a new type of virtue ethics approach to such cases. Typical virtue ethics principles are vague and unspecific. These are sometimes useful, but we show how to supplement them with more specific virtue ethics principles that are useful to people working in specific applied domains, where morally relevant domain-specific conditions recur. We do this while still fulfilling the need for principles and associated practical reasoning to flexibly respect variation between cases. Second, with our more detailed approach we criticize and improve upon a commonly discussed principle about ecosystemic external goods that are crucial for human flourishing. We show this principle is far more conservative than appreciated, as it would prohibit many technology uses that are uncontroversially acceptable. We then replace this principle with two more specific ones. One identifies specific conditions in which ecosystem considerations are against a technology use, the other identifies favorable conditions. Third, we uncover a humility-based principle that operates within an influential “hubris argument” against uses of several biotechnologies in agriculture. These arguments lack a substantive theory of the nature of humility. We clarify such a theory, and then use it to replace the uncovered humility-based principle with our own more specific one that shifts focus from past moral failings, to current epistemic limits when deciding whether to support new technologies.
Keywords environmental virtue ethics  humility  hubris  technology  external goods  virtue  flourishing  eudaimonia  gmo  crispr
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s10806-017-9669-4
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 53,682
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Natural Goodness.Philippa Foot & Peter Geach - 2002 - Philosophical Quarterly 52 (209):621-631.
Moral Luck.B. A. O. Williams & T. Nagel - 1976 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes( 50:115-151.
Virtue Ethics: A Pluralistic View.Christine Swanton - 2006 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 31:75-77.

View all 13 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Humility in Health Care.Karen Lebacqz - 1992 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 17 (3):291-307.
Agriculture. A War on Nature?John Surgey - 1989 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 6 (2):205-208.
The Virtuous Organization.Jane Collier - 1995 - Business Ethics 4 (3):143-149.
The Virtuous Organization.Jane Collier - 1995 - Business Ethics 4 (3):143–149.
The Values and Varieties of Humility.T. Ryan Byerly - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (4):889-910.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-05-18

Total views
25 ( #399,491 of 2,349,382 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
8 ( #83,875 of 2,349,382 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes