The aim and structure of ecological theory

Philosophy of Science 66 (1):71-93 (1999)
I present an attempt at an explication of the ecological theory of interspecific competition, including its explanatory role in community ecology and evolutionary biology. The account given is based on the idea that law-like statements play an important role in scientific theories of this kind. I suggest that the principle of competitive exclusion is such a law, and that it is evolutionarily invariant. The principle's empirical status is defended and implications for the ongoing debates on the existence of biological laws are discussed.
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DOI 10.1086/392677
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Jani Raerinne (2013). Stability and Lawlikeness. Biology and Philosophy 28 (5):833-851.
Viorel Pâslaru (2014). The Mechanistic Approach of The Theory of Island Biogeography and its Current Relevance. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 45 (1):22-33.

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