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The second edition of Agriculture's Ethical Horizon is a carefully considered application of philosophical concepts, such as utilitarianism and positivism, to the practice of agricultural science. Author Robert Zimdahl argues for an approach to agriculture guided by foundational values, and addresses the questions: What are the goals of agricultural and weed science? What should their goals be? How do and how should the practitioners of agriculture address complex ethical questions?
This book engages students, researchers, and professionals across disciplines including horticulture, soil and plant science, entomology, and more, all without requiring a background in philosophy. It examines topics such as scientific truth and myth, moral confidence in agriculture, the relevance of ethics to sustainability, and biotechnology. New to this edition is a chapter examining the raising, housing and slaughter of animals for human food, and a chapter on alternative and organic agricultural systems.
- Easily understood by non-philosophers
- Chapter sidebars highlight important concepts and can be used to engage students in further discussion
- Companion website includes further teaching aids and a discussion board
Anyone engaged in agriculture including students, researchers, and professionals in environmental studies, horticulture, plant science, and soil science. Those involved in associated regional and county offices, farmers and ranchers, agricultural chemical companies, and all those employed by other phases of the agricultural industry
Foreword First Edition
Foreword Second Edition
Acknowledgments First Edition
Acknowledgments Second Edition
1. The Horizon of Agricultural Ethics
Scientific Truth and Myth
2. The Conduct of Agricultural Science
What Research Ought to Be Done?
3. When Things Go Wrong—Balancing Technology’s Safety and Risk
The Development of Herbicides
Progress of Weed Science
The Continuing Debate
4. A Brief Introduction to Moral Philosophy and Ethical Theories
Science and Emotion
Ethics in Agriculture
Contemporary Normative Ethics
Ethical Theories Relevant to Agriculture
Social Contract Theory
Deontological or Kantian Ethics
Applying Ethics in Agriculture and Agricultural Science
Multiple Strategies Utilitarianism
5. Moral Confidence in Agriculture
The Benefits and Costs of Modern Agriculture
Goals for Agriculture
Social Goals for Agriculture
Environmental Goals for Agriculture
Expanding Agriculture’s Moral Scope
The Utilitarian Standard
The Relevance of the Western Agricultural Model
6. The Relevance of Ethics to Agriculture and Weed Science
7. Agricultural Sustainability
The Present Agricultural Situation: The Example of Weed Management
The Moral Case for Sustainability
What is Sustainability?
Why must Sustainability be Achieved?
A Concluding Comment About Sustainable Weed Science
Arguments in Favor of Agricultural Biotechnology
Arguments Opposed to Agricultural Biotechnology
The Moral Arguments
9. Alternative/Organic Agricultural Systems
Characteristics of Alternative/Organic Systems
The Farmers and Productivity
Transition and Advantages
10. Animal Agriculture
Western Thought and the Line
Arguments in Support of Animal Agriculture
Arguments Against Animal Agriculture
A New Technology
A Final Word
11. A Glimpse Ahead
Six Important Issues/Problems/Matters of Concern
Dominant Scientific Myths
Production and Ethics
The Imperative of Responsibility
Mission Statements (Summary—Tables 11.1 and 11.2)
The Role of the University
Sustainability as a Goal
- No. of pages:
- © Elsevier 2012
- 30th January 2012
- Hardcover ISBN:
- eBook ISBN:
Robert L. Zimdahl is a Professor of Weed Science at Colorado State University. He received his Ph.D. in Agronomy from Oregon State University. Among his many honors and awards, Dr. Zimdahl was elected a Fellow of the Weed Science Society of America in 1986 and currently serves as editor of that society’s journal, Weed Science. He has been a member of several international task forces and has authored a number of books and articles on the subject of weed science. He is the author of Fundamentals of Weed Science, and Six Chemicals that Changed Agriculture both from Elsevier.
Robert L. Zimdahl is a Professor of Weed Science at Colorado State University.
Praise for the first edition:
"This book takes on the largest scientific and ethical challenge of our past and present and does so in an engaging manner." - Wes Jackson, President, The Land Institute
Agriculture's Ethical Horizon is both a competent review of value conflicts in agriculture and a striking tale of the intellectual, even spiritual, transformation of an agriculturalist who was a leader in one agriculture's most dramatic technical revolutions, the development of chemical weed control. Everyone will find something to criticize. No alert reader will be left unaffected and most will have responses which, in their sense of being intellectually cool, they will have to admit are profoundly emotional--one way or the other. I predict that whole conferences will be based on this book. Historians of environmental sciences should pay particular attention." - Stanislaus J. Dundon, California State University, Sacramento
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