Article

Agriculture and Agricultural Biotechnology

David Castle

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Biology

Published in print July 2008 | ISBN: 9780195182057
Published online September 2009 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195182057.003.0023

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

 Agriculture and Agricultural Biotechnology

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This article explores a number of issues in agriculture and agricultural biotechnology putting a special emphasis within the philosophy of biology which is a fruitful area of study. The ecological impact of agriculture and the potential for humans to make novel contributions to genetic diversity raises questions about biodiversity. Thousands of years of selective breeding and food production using microorganisms in wine, bread, and cheese qualify as agricultural biotechnology. There are various disputes regarding genetically modified food, between products of agricultural biotechnology, and their conventional counterparts. The agricultural revolution also raises many ethical issues including concerns about corporate control, intellectual property rights, and use of traditional biological knowledge. We are on the threshold of the life sciences revolution. Unrevealing these mysteries of science will increase our knowledge and provide understanding of the world around us. Thus, it should lead to a better quality of life.

Keywords: agriculture; biotechnology; humans; ethical; issues; life science; knowledge

Article.  8604 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Science ; Moral Philosophy

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