A moral Operating System of livestock farming

Bart Gremmen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Societal views about livestock production systems in Europe are changing dramatically in a negative direction. Based on the tradition of pragmatism in applied philosophy I develop a Moral Operating System of animal production systems in cooperating a plurality of ethical views. This moral operating system of animal production systems consists of two interactive, dynamic parts: an internal professional care ethics combined with an emergent ethics in life sciences enabling change by responsible innovation, and external ethical boundary conditions based on societal values and concerns in animal ethics and environmental ethics. I focus on the emergent ethics in life sciences because it most normative ethical theories have problems in dealing with the future. In moral reasoning about innovations in the making, the relevant moral facts and the appropriate principles are more or less still unknown, as also the relevant moral consequences. Only by doing ethics in life sciences in future projects will the moral dilemmas emerge in the trajectories of responsible innovation like molecular technologies in animal sciences and precision livestock farming.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-51
JournalPragmatism Today
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


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