It Starts with the Soil and Organic Agriculture Can Help

Date
2008-06-01
Authors
Kirschenmann, Frederick
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Altmetrics
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Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture
Abstract

The foundation of modern science has deep root s in Western culture, reaching back to the 16th and 17th centuries. The central dogma underlying this science is rooted in the mathematics-based science of Rene Descartes. In his Meditations published in 1641, Descartes asserted that one could and must separate the thinking mi nd (or subject) from the material world (or object). By doing s o, he believed one could establish objective certainty, wholly determinable, and free of any subjective bias. It was on this basis that Descartes reduced material reality to mechani cal functions. This perspective formed the basis of the “disinterested” sciences and eventually yiel ded the knowledge, technologies and culture that made industrial science and ultimately industrial agriculture possible. This philosophy of science also sh aped our perceptions of soil within modern agriculture.

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