Methods and metaphors in community ecology: The problem of defining stability
Scientists must sometimes choose between competing definitions of key terms. The degree to which different definitions facilitate important dis- coveries should ultimately guide decisions about which terms to accept. In the short run, rules of thumb can help. One such rule is to regard with suspicion any definition that turns a seemingly important empiri- cal matter into an a priori exercise. Several prominent definitions of eco- logical “stability” are suspect, according to this rule. After evaluating alternatives, I suggest that the faulty definitions resulted from an over- emphasis on population dynamics in community ecology. Machine met- aphors of nature may have given rise to a related problem of experimen- tal design.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Ecology, Community, and Lifestyle: Outline of an Ecosophy.Arne Næss - 1989 - Cambridge University Press.
Phylogenetic Definitions and Taxonomic Philosophy.Kevin Queiroz - 1992 - Biology and Philosophy 7 (3):295-313.
The Land Ethic: A Critical Appraisal.James D. Heffernan - 1982 - Environmental Ethics 4 (3):235-247.
Formalization of the Basic Concepts of Animal Ecology.B. S. Niven - 1982 - Erkenntnis 17 (3):307 - 320.
On Stability and Solvability (or, When Does a Neural Network Solve a Problem?).Stan Franklin & Max Garzon - 1992 - Minds and Machines 2 (1):71-83.
Community Ecology, Scale, and the Instability of the Stability Concept.E. D. McCoy & Kristin Shrader-Frechette - 1992 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:184 - 199.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads20 ( #248,588 of 2,172,021 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #325,967 of 2,172,021 )
How can I increase my downloads?