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Agriculture's Ethical Horizon

  • 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

Series: Elsevier Insights

By: Robert L Zimdahl(Author)

280 pages, no illustrations


Hardback | Jan 2012 | Edition: 2 | #197790 | ISBN-13: 9780124160439
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £36.99 $50/€42 approx

About this book

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.

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

"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


Foreword from first edition by Paul B. Thompson, Michigan State University
Foreword from second edition by Frederick Kirshenmann

1. The Horizon of Agriculture Ethics
2. The Conduct of Agricultural Science
3. When Things Go Wrong: Balancing Technology's Safety and Risk
4. A Brief Introduction to Moral Philosophy and Ethical Theories
5. Moral Confidence in Agriculture
6. The Relevance of Ethics to Agriculture and Weed Science
7. Agricultural Sustainability
8. Biotechnology
9. Alternative/Organic Agricultural Systems
10. Animal Agriculture
11. A Glimpse Ahead

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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.

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