David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Acta Biotheoretica 60 (3):257-271 (2012)
Ecological communities around the world are under threat while a consensus theory of community structure remains elusive. In the last decade ecologists have struggled with two seemingly opposing theories: niche-based theory that explains diversity with species’ differences and the neutral theory of biodiversity that claims that much of the diversity we observe can be explained without explicitly invoking species’ differences. Although ecologists are increasingly attempting to reconcile these two theories, there is still much resistance against the neutral theory of biodiversity. Here we argue that the dispute between the two theories is a classic example of the dichotomy between philosophical perspectives, realism and instrumentalism. Realism is associated with specific, small-scale and detailed explanations, whereas instrumentalism is linked to general, large-scale, but less precise accounts. Recognizing this will help ecologists get both niche-based and neutral theories in perspective as useful tools for understanding biodiversity patterns
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Joan Roughgarden (2009). Is There a General Theory of Community Ecology? Biology and Philosophy 24 (4):521-529.
C. Maria Keet (2006). Representations of the Ecological Niche. In B. Klein, I. Johansson & T. Roth-Berghofer (eds.), Third International Workshop on Philosophy and Informatics (WSPI2006), Saarbrucken, Germany. 3-4 May 2006. IFOMIS Reports
Thomas R. Alley (1982). Competition Theory, Evolution, and the Concept of an Ecological Niche. Acta Biotheoretica 31 (3):165-179.
Raphael Scholl (2012). Did Darwin Write the Origin Backwards? Philosophical Essays on Darwin’s Theory. [REVIEW] Acta Biotheoretica 60 (3):323-328.
Sebastian Sequoiah-Grayson (2012). Giovanni Sommaruga (Ed): Formal Theories of Information: From Shannon to Semantic Information Theory and General Concepts of Information. [REVIEW] Minds and Machines 22 (1):35-40.
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.
Theo Kuipers & Gerhard Schurz (2011). Introduction and Overview. Erkenntnis 75 (2):151-163.
Slimane Miled (2012). Proceeding of the Third International Conference of the French-Speaking Society for Theoretical Biology. Acta Biotheoretica 60 (1-2):1-2.
Tudor Baetu (2012). Defining Species: A Multi-Level Approach. Acta Biotheoretica 60 (3):239-255.
Elijah Millgram (2011). Practical Reasoning for Serial Hyperspecializers. Philosophical Explorations 12 (3):261-278.
James Maclaurin & Kim Sterelny (2008). What is Biodiversity? University of Chicago Press.
Sabina Leonelli (2012). Karen-Sue Taussig: Ordinary Genomes: Science, Citizenship and Genetic Identities. [REVIEW] Acta Biotheoretica 60 (3):319-322.
Julio A. Camargo (2008). Revisiting the Relation Between Species Diversity and Information Theory. Acta Biotheoretica 56 (4):275-283.
Michael R. Dietrich & Roberta L. Millstein (2008). The Role of Causal Processes in the Neutral and Nearly Neutral Theories. Philosophy of Science 75 (5):548-559.
Added to index2012-02-06
Total downloads15 ( #161,941 of 1,699,640 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #206,271 of 1,699,640 )
How can I increase my downloads?