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:

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Information about sustainability in the sense of resource sufficiency is important for planning, but not in a way that adds anything to the traditional statement of utilitarian philosophy. The “paradox of sustainability” arises because substantive, research-based approaches to sustainability may be too complex to effectively motivate appropriate social responses, especially in a culture where science is presumed to be “value free.” Assessing sustainability in such terms presumes that the farmer is outside the system—not outside in the sense that the farmer's actions have no impact on the system, but in the sense that this way of understanding sustainability presumes that there will always be a farmer present to manage inputs.

Keywords: planning; utilitarian philosophy; value free; paradox; sustainability

Chapter.  8864 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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