Struggling with the science of ecology

Biology and Philosophy 21 (3):395-409 (2006)
Abstract
Greg Cooper’s The Science of the Struggle for Existence is a must read for those interested in the history and philosophy of ecology and in topics like laws of nature, scientific explanation, and mathematical modeling. If you want to explore some of the metaphysical and methodological challenges that face ecology, there is no better place to go. Thus, this book marks an important moment in the philosophy of ecology. Folks like myself will be responding to it for quite a while. What I find most appealing about the book is just how much there is to argue with. On every page there are interesting ideas presented but which are excitingly controversial. Some will argue with Cooper’s interpretation of the history of ecology. There are parts of the book that empiricists will balk at. You will not be left unstirred. Having said this, Cooper can be longwinded and while you read you should remember patience is a virtue.
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