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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Agriculture (AG)

AG 160 (GH) Introduction into Ethics and Issues in Agriculture (3) The course explores ethical theories, concepts of critical thinking, and major ethical issues related to American agriculture.

AG 160 Introduction into Ethics and Issues in Agriculture (3)

Ethics and the social contract include substantive ethical theories focusing on rights-based ethical theories (libertarianism and egalitarian theories) and consequentialist theories (utilitarianism and axiology). These theories assist in conceptually defining levels of participation and consent in democracy. This course explores the circumstances in which rational persons and political groups historically agree to be bound in collective decision making. The primary focus by examines four separate ethical themes illustrating why and how individuals accept a variety of terms.

The course highlights philosophical/ethical decisions related to agriculture issues during the history of the United States. Issues range from non-interference rights to opportunity rights dealing with food, fiber, natural resource and environmental issues. Procedural theory emphasizes the formation of legitimate and defensible rules rather than ethics. Policy choices are assumed to be legitimate and defensible as long as individuals follow the rules/procedures for decision making. The content of this course meshes the procedural and the substance theories found throughout historical debates in agriculture communities. The course identifies traditional agrarian problem identification, policy formation, policy adoption and funding, program implementation and program evaluation.

How ethics figures historically in agriculture policy processes is applied in a variety of case studies and debates as well as selected readings. The course includes an examination of the ethics of when, how and where the policy process historically influenced agriculture public policies. The course emphasizes the need to critically think about various points of view expressed by various conflicting authors.

General Education: GH
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Summer 1999

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

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