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A Philosophical Perspective

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Resource Magazine. 18(1): 16. (doi: 10.13031/2013.35942) @2011
Authors:   Charles N. Merfield
Keywords:   Farm of the future, John Gray, philosophy, bottom-up, top-down, holons, unintended consequences, soil

Any discussion of the farm of the future has to be more philosophical than scientific. Science is unequivocal that predicting the outcome of complex systems is impossible, and the days of experts prophesying the future are over. Further, I concur with John Gray, the British political philosopher, that the days of grand utopian visions are over, along with the monolithic philosophies that spawned them. If we are to plot the future, it has to be brick by brick. Therefore, this is not a prediction, but an analysis of the issues that I believe matter for farms in the future.

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