Authors
Justin Donhauser
Bowling Green State University
Abstract
The world’s leading environmental advisory institutions look to ecological theory and research as an objective guide for policy and resource management decision-making. In addition to various theoretical merits of doing so, it is therefore crucially important to clear up confusions about ecology’s conceptual foundations and to make plain the basic workings of inferential methods used in the science. Through discussion of key moments in the genesis of the theoretical branch of ecology, this essay elucidates a general heuristic role of teleological metaphor in ecological research and defuses certain enduring confusions and misguided criticisms of current work in ecology.
Keywords History and Philosophy of Ecology  Ecology for Policy  Teleology
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsc.2016.09.008
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Functional Ecology's Non-Selectionist Understanding of Function.Antoine C. Dussault - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 70:1-9.
Differentiating and Defusing Theoretical Ecology's Criticisms: A Rejoinder to Sagoff's Reply to Donhauser (2016).Justin Donhauser - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 63:70-79.

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