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The Horizon of Agricultural Ethics-Chapter 1

Elsevier Inc.
DOI: 10.1016/b978-012370511-2/50003-x
  • Agricultural Science
  • Ecology
  • Geography
  • Law
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science


Publisher Summary Those engaged in agriculture must begin to examine and expand agriculture's ethical horizon. A horizon can also be regarded as a limit or the extent of one's outlook, experience, interest, knowledge, and so on. The problems of agriculture multiply faster than the solutions. There are three reasons because of which things have become more complex. The first reason is ontological or human-induced changes in the nature of the real world. The second reason is epistemological change. The third reason for added complexity is changes in the nature of decision making. A more “participatory style of decision making” is gaining; and “technocratic and authoritarian” decision making is less in favor. The ecocentric, as opposed to technocentric view, often prevails. Other decision criteria (gender, human rights, the environment) are also gaining credibility as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and multinational corporations expand the dimensions that define issues and solutions. In general, while changes in the nature of decision making are known and often lamented in agriculture, that knowledge has not led to changes in agricultural practice. Change in practice has been imposed from outside. It is reasonable to posit that changes resulting from environmental concern, gender issues, human rights, and animal rights have been resisted within agriculture.

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