David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 43 (1):47 - 78 (1980)
Biology above the level of the individual organism ? population ecology and genetics, community ecology, biogeography and evolution ? requires the study of intrinsically complex systems. But the dominant philosophies of western science have proven to be inadequate for the study of complexity:(1)The reductionist myth of simplicity leads its advocates to isolate parts as completely as possible and study these parts. It underestimates the importance of interactions in theory, and its recommendations for practice (in agricultural programs or conservation and environmental protection) are typically thwarted by the power of indirect and unanticipated causes rather than by error in the detailed description of their own objects of study.(2)Reductionism ignores properties of complex wholes; the effects of these properties are therefore seen only as noise; this randomness is elevated into an ontological principle which leads to the blocking of investigation and the reification of statistics, so that data reduction and statistical prediction often pass for explanation.(3)The faith in the atomistic nature of the world makes the allocation of relative weights to separate causes the main object of science, and makes it more difficult to study the nature of interconnectedness
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Edward O. Wilson, Arthur L. Caplan, Daniel G. Freedman & Michael Ruse (1982). On Human Nature. Ethics 92 (2):327-340.
R. C. Lewontin (1974). The Analysis of Variance and the Analysis of Causes. American Journal of Human Genetics 26:400-11.
Daniel Simberloff (1980). A Succession of Paradigms in Ecology: Essentialism to Materialism and Probabilism. Synthese 43 (1):3 - 39.
Citations of this work BETA
Jonathan Michael Kaplan & Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther (2013). Prisoners of Abstraction? The Theory and Measure of Genetic Variation, and the Very Concept of 'Race'. Biological Theory 7 (1):401-412.
Ullica Segerstrale (1986). Colleagues in Conflict: An 'in Vivo' Analysis of the Sociobiology Controversy. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 1 (1):53-87.
Pierrick Bourrat (2014). From Survivors to Replicators: Evolution by Natural Selection Revisited. Biology and Philosophy 29 (4):517-538.
William C. Wimsatt (1980). Randomness and Perceived-Randomness in Evolutionary Biology. Synthese 43 (2):287 - 329.
Yrjö Haila (1996). Trivialization of Critique in Ecology. Biology and Philosophy 12 (1):109-118.
Similar books and articles
Mick Smith (1999). To Speak of Trees: Social Constructivism, Environmental Values, and the Future of Deep Ecology. Environmental Ethics 21 (4):359-376.
Bertell Ollman & Tony Smith (eds.) (2008). Dialectics for the New Century. Palgrave Macmillan.
Thomas W. Simon (1990). Varieties of Ecological Dialectics. Environmental Ethics 12 (3):211-231.
Yrjö Haila & Peter Taylor (2001). The Philosophical Dullness of Classical Ecology, and a Levinsian Alternative. Biology and Philosophy 16 (1):93-102.
Jay Odenbaugh (2006). The Strategy of “the Strategy of Model Building in Population Biology”. Biology and Philosophy 21 (5):607-621.
Donato Bergandi (2011). Multifaceted Ecology Between Organicism, Emergentism and Reductionism. In A. Schwarz & K. Jax (eds.), Ecology Revisited. Reflecting on Concepts, Advancing Science. Springer 31-43.
John Bellamy Foster (2008). The Dialectics of Nature and Marxist Ecology. In Bertell Ollman & Tony Smith (eds.), Dialectics for the New Century. Palgrave Macmillan
Donato Bergandi & Patrick Blandin (1998). Holism Vs. Reductionism: Do Ecosystem Ecology and Landscape Ecology Clarify the Debate? Acta Biotheoretica 46 (3):185-206.
Donato Bergandi (2000). Eco-Cybernetics: The Ecology and Cybernetics of Missing Emergences. Kybernetes 29 (7/8):928-942..
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads76 ( #55,477 of 1,902,168 )
Recent downloads (6 months)9 ( #84,328 of 1,902,168 )
How can I increase my downloads?