Ecology and Society 14 (2) (2009)

Authors
Stefan Linquist
University of Guelph
Paul Edmund Griffiths
University of Sydney
Mark Colyvan
University of Sydney
1 more
Abstract
Philosophy of ecology has been slow to become established as an area of philosophical interest, but it is now receiving considerable attention. This area holds great promise for the advancement of both ecology and the philosophy of science. Insights from the philosophy of science can advance ecology in a number of ways. For example, philosophy can assist with the development of improved models of ecological hypothesis testing and theory choice. Philosophy can also help ecologists understand the role and limitations of mathematical models in ecology. On the other side, philosophy of science will be advanced by having ecological case studies as part of the stock of examples. Ecological case studies can shed light on old philosophical topics as well as raise novel issues for the philosophy of science. For example, understanding theoretical terms such as “biodiversity” is important for scientific reasons, but such terms also carry political importance. Formulating appropriate definitions for such terms is thus not a purely scientific matter, and this may prompt a reevaluation of philosophical accounts of defining theoretical terms. We consider some of the topics currently receiving attention in the philosophy of ecology and other topics in need of attention. Our aim is to prompt further exchange between ecology and philosophy of science and to help set the agenda for future work in the philosophy of ecology. The topics covered include: the role of mathematical models, environmental problem formulation, biodiversity, and environmental ethics.
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References found in this work BETA

How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
How the Laws of Physics Lie.Malcolm R. Forster - 1985 - Philosophy of Science 52 (3):478-480.
What is Biodiversity?James Maclaurin & Kim Sterelny - 2008 - University of Chicago Press.
Asymptotics and the Role of Minimal Models.Robert W. Batterman - 2002 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 53 (1):21-38.

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Citations of this work BETA

Theoretical Ecology as Etiological From the Start.Justin Donhauser - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 60:67-76.
Agent-Based Models as Fictive Instantiations of Ecological Processes.Steven L. Peck - 2012 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 4 (20130604).

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