The “structure” of population ecology: Philosophical reflections on unstructured and structured models
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In 1974, John Maynard Smith wrote in his little book Models in Ecology, A theory of ecology must make statements about ecosystems as a whole, as well as about particular species at particular times, and it must make statements that are true for many species and not just for one… For the discovery of general ideas in ecology, therefore, different kinds of mathematical description, which may be called models, are called for. Whereas a good simulation should include as much detail as possible, a good model should include as little as possible. (1974.
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