Agriculture's Ethical Horizon

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-01-30
  • Publisher: Elsevier Science Ltd

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What are the goals of agricultural science? What should the goals of agricultural science be? How do and how should the practitioners of agriculture address complex ethical questions? These questions are explored in this monumental book so that those in agriculture will begin an open dialoge on the ethics of agriculture. Discussion of foundational values, of why we practice agriculture as we do, should become a central, rather than peripheral, part of agricultural practice and education. If agricultural scientists do not venture forth to understand and shape the ethical base of the future, it will be imposed by others. Largely autobiographical, this book covers topics such as scientific truth and myth, what agricultural research should be done, an introduction to ethics, moral confidence in agriculture, the relevance of ethics to agriculture, sustainability, and biotechnology. * Written by an expert who has been engaged in agricultural education and research for over 35 years * Content is easily understandable by non-philosophers * The concepts of scientific truth and myth are contrasted and compared * Chapter sidebars highlight important concepts and can be used to engage students in further discussion * Companion website will accompany the book with further teaching aids and a discussion board

Table of Contents

Foreword-First Editionp. ix
Foreword-Second Editionp. xvii
Prefacep. xxi
Acknowledgments-First Editionp. xxxi
Acknowledgments-Second Editionp. xxxiii
The Horizon of Agricultural Ethicsp. 1
Scientific Truth and Mythp. 3
The Conduct of Agricultural Sciencep. 15
What Research Ought to Be Done?p. 23
When Things Go Wrong-Balancing Technology's Safety and Riskp. 29
The Development of Herbicidesp. 30
Progress of Weed Sciencep. 35
Challengesp. 38
The Continuing Debatep. 45
A Brief Introduction to Moral Philosophy and Ethical Theoriesp. 53
Science and Emotionp. 55
Universal Valuesp. 57
Ethics in Agriculturep. 59
Contemporary Normative Ethicsp. 61
Ethical Theories Relevant to Agriculturep. 63
Ethical Egoismp. 64
Social Contract Theoryp. 65
Virtue Ethicsp. 66
Deontological or Kantian Ethicsp. 68
Utilitarianismp. 69
Applying Ethics in Agriculture and Agricultural Sciencep. 72
Multiple Strategies Utilitarianismp. 75
Moral Confidence in Agriculturep. 81
The Benefits and Costs of Modern Agriculturep. 82
Goals for Agriculturep. 90
Social Goals for Agriculturep. 91
Environmental Goals for Agriculturep. 93
Expanding Agriculture's Moral Scopep. 97
The Utilitarian Standardp. 98
The Relevance of the Western Agricultural Modelp. 99
Bottom-line Thinkingp. 100
Sustainabilityp. 100
Conclusionp. 102
The Relevance of Ethics to Agriculture and Weed Sciencep. 109
Agricultural Sustainabilityp. 121
The Present Agricultural Situation: The Example of Weed Managementp. 124
The Moral Case for Sustainabilityp. 132
What is Sustainability?p. 136
Why must Sustainability be Achieved?p. 139
A Concluding Comment About Sustainable Weed Sciencep. 144
Biotechnologyp. 149
The Debatep. 150
Technological Problemsp. 152
Regulationp. 154
Arguments in Favor of Agricultural Biotechnologyp. 157
Arguments Opposed to Agricultural Biotechnologyp. 165
Feeding the Worldp. 167
Harm to Human Healthp. 170
Harm to the Environmentp. 172
Transgenic Technology and Sustainable Agricultural Systemsp. 175
The Role of Large Companiesp. 179
The Moral Argumentsp. 180
Labeling and Biotechnology in the US and the EUp. 181
Effects on Family Farmsp. 184
Academic-Industry Relationshipsp. 186
Transgenic Pharmingp. 187
The Precautionary Principlep. 188
Alternative/Organic Agricultural Systemsp. 197
Characteristics of Alternative/Organic Systemsp. 199
The Farmers and Productivityp. 200
Transition and Advantagesp. 203
Ethical Problemsp. 206
Animal Agriculturep. 211
Western Thought and the Linep. 211
A Personp. 212
Arguments in Support of Animal Agriculturep. 215
Arguments Against Animal Agriculturep. 216
Animal Biotechnologyp. 221
A New Technologyp. 224
A Final Wordp. 225
A Glimpse Aheadp. 229
Six Important Issues/Problems/Matters of Concernp. 231
Agricultural Production/Soil Erosion/and Desertificationp. 232
Depletion of Water Resourcesp. 234
Climate Changep. 238
Pollutionp. 239
Loss of Farmersp. 240
Populationp. 243
Dominant Scientific Mythsp. 243
The Myth of Infinite Benefitp. 244
The Myth that Science and Scientists are Value Freep. 245
The Myth of Unfettered Researchp. 246
The Myth of Accountabilityp. 247
The Myth of Authoritativenessp. 247
The Myth of the Endless Frontierp. 248
Production and Ethicsp. 248
The Imperative of Responsibilityp. 250
Finding Partnersp. 253
Mission Statementsp. 255
The Role of the Universityp. 259
Sustainability as a Goalp. 263
Conclusionp. 269
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