Chapter

Sustainability as a Norm

Paul B. Thompson

in The Agrarian Vision

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780813125879
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135557 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5810/kentucky/9780813125879.003.0011
Sustainability as a Norm

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Sustainability implies that the system in question supports the continuance of the practice, the institution, or the phenomenon in a roughly stable state, although it is possible to conceptualize systems that are in constant yet orderly states of change. The important empirical question for sustainability is whether the practice or phenomenon is compatible with continuous (or cyclical) reinforcement or reproduction of the underlying system. There is a nonzero probability that the earth will be hit by a comet and fracture into pieces sometime in the next 100 years, but it would be silly to argue that our current systems of agriculture are unsustainable because they would not survive such an impact.

Keywords: phenomenon; cyclical; reinforcement; reproduction; unsustainable

Chapter.  7827 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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