David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy of Science 73 (5):720-729 (2006)
(Total word count 2,647) I. Introduction. Given the work of Robert MacArthur and his followers, some skeptical ecologists charge that theoretical modeling building has gone evidentially unconstrained. That is, models are often constructed which resist empirical testing. In this essay, I argue that “bottle experiments” do provide model building with important evidential constraints using an example of chaos producing models that have been tested against the dynamics of flour beetle populations. Critics reply however that this and other bottle experiments are importantly unlike and irrelevant to non-manipulated systems in nature. I provide two possible responses to this view. Finally, I provide a practical suggestion for how to move the debate forward.
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References found in this work BETA
Nancy Cartwright (1999). The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science. Cambridge University Press.
Jay Odenbaugh (2006). Struggling with the Science of Ecology. Biology and Philosophy 21 (3):395-409.
Gregory John Cooper (2003). The Science of the Struggle for Existence: On the Foundations of Ecology. Cambridge University Press.
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