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  1. Kevin de Laplante, Certainty and Domain-Independence in the Sciences of Complexity: A Critique of James Franklin's Account of Formal Science.
    James Franklin has argued that the formal, mathematical sciences of complexity — network theory, information theory, game theory, control theory, etc. — have a methodology that is different from the methodology of the natural sciences, and which can result in a knowledge of physical systems that has the epistemic character of deductive mathematical knowledge. I evaluate Franklin’s arguments in light of realistic examples of mathematical modelling and conclude that, in general, the formal sciences are no more able to guarantee certainty (...)
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  2. Kevin de Laplante, Response to Franklin's Comments on 'Certainty and Domain-Independence in the Sciences of Complexity'.
    Professor Franklin is correct to say that there are significant areas of agreement between his account of formal science (Franklin, 1994) and my critique of his account. We both agree that the domain-independence exhibited by the formal sciences is ontologically and epistemically interesting, and that the concept of ‘structure’ must be central in any analysis of domain-independence. We also agree that knowledge of the structural, relational properties of physical systems should count as empirical knowledge, and that it makes sense to (...)
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  3. Kevin de Laplante, Sources of Domain-Independence in the Formal Sciences.
    Any discussion of the concept of “formal science” must acknowledge that the term is used in different ways, for different purposes, by different people. For some, the formal sciences are defined by the exclusive use of deductive methods for discovering, or reasoning about, the properties of formal, abstract systems. On this view, the formal sciences are synonymous with mathematics, formal logic, and certain branches of linguistics and computer science that emphasize the study of formal languages. For others, “formal science” means (...)
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  4. Kevin de Laplante & Jay Odenbaugh, What Isn't Wrong with Ecosystem Ecology.
    Philosophers of the life sciences have devoted considerably more attention to evolutionary theory and genetics than to the various sub-disciplines of ecology, but recent work in the philosophy of ecology suggests reflects a growing interest in this area (Cooper 2003; Ginzburg and Colyvan 2004). However, philosophers of biology and ecology have focused almost entirely on conceptual and methodological issues in population and community ecology; conspicuously absent are foundational investigations in ecosystem ecology. This situation is regrettable. Ecosystem concepts play a central (...)
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  5. Kevin de Laplante (2004). Environmental Alchemy: How to Turn Ecological Science Into Ecological Philosophy. Environmental Ethics 26 (4):361-380.
    Ecological science has been viewed by some philosophers as a foundational resource for the development of metaphysical, epistemological and normative views concerning humanity’s relationship with the natural environment, or what might be called an “ecological philosophy.” Analysis of three attempts to infer philosophical conclusions from ecological science shows that (1) there are serious obstacles facing any attempt to derive unique philosophical consequences from ecological science and (2) the project of developing an ecological philosophy relevant to human-environment relations is seriously hindered (...)
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  6. Kevin de Laplante (2004). Toward a More Expansive Conception of Ecological Science. Biology and Philosophy 19 (2):263-281.
    There are two competing conceptions of the nature and domain of ecological science in the popular and academic literature, an orthodox conception and a more expansive conception. The orthodox conception conceives ecology as a natural biological science distinct from the human social sciences. The more expansive conception views ecology as a science whose domain properly spans both the natural and social sciences. On the more expansive conception, non-traditional ecological disciplines such as ecological psychology, ecological anthropology and ecological economics may legitimately (...)
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