Campus Units

Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Conference Title

16th International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) Organic World Congress

Conference Date

June 2008


Moderna, Italy


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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Agriculture Commons


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