Wednesday, October 11, 2023 - 4:10pm - 5:30pm
Gendebien Room, Skillman Library, Room 206
Dr. Lee A. McBride III, College of Wooster

Agrarianism, according to Paul B. Thompson, is an environmental philosophy focused on agri-culture and the nurturing of food, fuel, and fiber. Agrarianism hopes to reestablish our fundamental connection to the land, helping us approach a tenable understanding of sustainability. Thompson enlists Albert Borgmann’s notion of “focal practices” to discuss farming and the culture of the table. With this, comes a critique of “the device paradigm,” the modern technological way of life that (i) alienates us from quotidian beauty, lifecycles and seasonality, and vital place-based insights embedded in focal practices and (ii) obscures how techno-industrial capitalism limits our opportunities for rich, intimate experiences with our biotic communities. In this paper, the author will outline the contours of Thompson’s agrarian philosophy in light of Borgmann’s focal practices, noting the enduring wisdom in this position. But the author will evoke Sylvia Wynter’s critique of the hegemonic techno-industrial order of things to conjure alternative conceptions of decolonial agrarian futures (that will not foreground bucolic settler-colonial farms).




Sponsored by: 
The Louise M. Olmsted Fund for Ethics and The Philosophy Department

Contact information

Professor Amy Marvin