The Concepts of Population and Metapopulation in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology

In M. A. Bell, D. J. Futuyma, W. F. Eanes & J. S. Levinton (eds.), Evolution Since Darwin: The First 150 Years. Sinauer (2010)
This paper aims to illustrate one of the primary goals of the philosophy of biology⎯namely, the examination of central concepts in biological theory and practice⎯through an analysis of the concepts of population and metapopulation in evolutionary biology and ecology. I will first provide a brief background for my analysis, followed by a characterization of my proposed concepts: the causal interactionist concepts of population and metapopulation. I will then illustrate how the concepts apply to six cases that differ in their population structure; this analysis will also serve to flesh out and defend the concepts a bit more. Finally, I will respond to some possible questions that my analysis may have raised and then conclude briefly.
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