David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 23 (3):417-438 (2008)
Explaining the persistence of populations is an important quest in ecology, and is a modern manifestation of the balance of nature metaphor. Increasingly, however, ecologists see populations (and ecological systems generally) as not being in equilibrium or balance. The portrayal of ecological systems as “non-equilibrium” is seen as a strong alternative to deterministic or equilibrium ecology, but this approach fails to provide much theoretical or practical guidance, and warrants formalisation at a more fundamental level. This is available in adaptation theory, which allows population persistence to be explained as an epiphenomenon stemming from the maintenance, survival, movement and reproduction of individual organisms. These processes take place within a physicochemical and biotic environment that persists through structured annual cycles, but which is also spatiotemporally dynamic and subject to stochastic variation. The focus is thus shifted from the overproduction of offspring and the consequent density dependent population pressure thought to follow, to the adaptations and ecological circumstances that support those relatively few individuals that do survive.
|Keywords||Philosophy Evolutionary Biology Philosophy of Biology|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Michael T. Ghiselin (1976). The Economy of Nature and the Evolution of Sex. Journal of the History of Biology 9 (2):324-324.
A. F. Chalmers (1999). What is This Thing Called Science? Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
Gregory John Cooper (2003). The Science of the Struggle for Existence: On the Foundations of Ecology. Cambridge University Press.
Sahotra Sarkar (2005). Biodiversity and Environmental Philosophy: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press.
A. F. Chalmers (1982/1994). What is This Thing Called Science?: An Assessment of the Nature and Status of Science and its Methods. Hackett Pub. Co..
Citations of this work BETA
Trevor Pearce (2012). Philosophy of Biology in the Twenty-First Century. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):312-315.
Similar books and articles
Jeffrey Lockwood (2012). Species Are Processes: A Solution to the 'Species Problem' Via an Extension of Ulanowicz's Ecological Metaphysics. [REVIEW] Axiomathes 22 (2):231-260.
Roberta L. Millstein (2009). Populations as Individuals. Biological Theory 4 (3):267-273.
Bouchard Frédéric (2011). Darwinism Without Populations: A More Inclusive Understanding of the “Survival of the Fittest”. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (1):106-114.
Gregory Cooper (2001). Must There Be a Balance of Nature? Biology and Philosophy 16 (4):481-506.
Christopher H. Eliot (2011). The Legend of Order and Chaos. In Kevin deLaplante, Bryson Browne & Kent A. Peacock (eds.), Philosophy of Ecology. Elsevier
G. H. Walter & R. Hengeveld (2000). The Structure of the Two Ecological Paradigms. Acta Biotheoretica 48 (1):15-46.
Kim Cuddington (2001). The “Balance of Nature” Metaphor and Equilibrium in Population Ecology. Biology and Philosophy 16 (4):463-479.
E. D. McCoy & Kristin Shrader-Frechette (1992). Community Ecology, Scale, and the Instability of the Stability Concept. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:184 - 199.
Christian Haak (2002). The History of Models. Does It Matter? Mind and Society 3 (1):33-41.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads13 ( #189,657 of 1,725,192 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #210,900 of 1,725,192 )
How can I increase my downloads?