Ecological Stability, Model Building, and Environmental Policy: A Reply to Some of the Pessimism

Philosophy of Science 68 (S1):S493- (2001)
Recently, there has been a rise in pessimism concerning what theoretical ecology can offer conservation biologists in the formation of reasonable environmental policies. In this paper, I look at one of the pessimistic arguments offered by Kristin Shrader-Frechette and E. D. McCoy (1993, 1994)--the argument from conceptual imprecision. I suggest that their argument rests on an inadequate account of the concepts of ecological stability and that there has been conceptual progress with respect to complexity-stability hypotheses. Such progress, I maintain, can supply important resources for conservation biologists in determining environmental policies.
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James Justus (2008). Ecological and Lyapunov Stability. Philosophy of Science 75 (4):421-436.
Jani Raerinne (2013). Stability and Lawlikeness. Biology and Philosophy 28 (5):833-851.
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