Holism vs. reductionism: Do ecosystem ecology and landscape ecology clarify the debate?

Acta Biotheoretica 46 (3):185-206 (1998)
The holism-reductionism debate, one of the classic subjects of study in the philosopy of science, is currently at the heart of epistemological concerns in ecology. Yet the division between holism and reductionism does not always stand out clearly in this field. In particular, almost all work in ecosystem ecology and landscape ecology presents itself as holistic and emergentist. Nonetheless, the operational approaches used rely on conventional reductionist methodology.From an emergentist epistemological perspective, a set of general 'transactional' principles inspired by the work of J. Dewey and J.K. Feibleman are proposed in an effort to develop a coherent ontological and methodological semantics
Keywords holism  emergence  reduction  ecosystems  John Dewey  JK Fleibleman  transaction  reductionism  emergentism  landscape
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DOI 10.1023/A:1001716624350
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