Farmers and Philosophers: Agriculture and Philosophies of Organism

Agriculture has always been a defining characteristic of civilization. Yet unsustainable agricultural practices are a major reason why we now find ourselves in the midst of a serious environmental crisis. While discussions about regenerative and sustainable agricultural practices are increasingly common, there is still very little work being done to analyze the underlying frameworks―the worldviews―that ground our inherently exploitative systems of agriculture. On January 20, 2018 a group of nearly 50 people gathered in Claremont for a collaborative conference that addressed the presuppositions driving current agricultural practices. Concrete ideas and practices were developed that will help to revolutionize agriculture in order to serve the common good for the sake of the planet.

This conference was supplemented by a screening of John Peterson’s film, The Real Dirt on Farmer John, a film that explores John Peterson’s abandonment of conventional chemical farming and his mission to develop a thriving organic farm and a progressive farm community.

Featured participants included Wes Jackson of the Land Institute, Fred Kirschenmann of the Leopold Center, and many more.

This wonderful conference demonstrated the importance of cross-sector (transdisciplinary) collaboration, as philosophers learned from farmers and farmers learned from philosophers, together advancing a paradigm shift in agriculture toward an ecological civilization.

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