Biology and Philosophy 37 (2):1-21 (2022)

Samantha Wakil
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
James Justus
Florida State University
The niche is allegedly the conceptual bedrock underpinning the most prominent, and some would say most important, theorizing in ecology. We argue this point of view is more aspirational than veridical. Rather than critically dissect existing definitions of the concept, the supposedly significant work it is thought to have done in ecology is our evaluative target. There is no denying the impressive mathematical sophistication and theoretical ingenuity of the ecological modeling that invokes ‘niche’ terminology. But despite the pervasive labeling, we demonstrate that niche talk is nothing more than a gloss on theory developed without it, that doesn’t need it, and that doesn’t benefit from it.
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DOI 10.1007/s10539-022-09839-0
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Doing Without Concepts.Edouard Machery - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
A Guided Tour Of Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics.David Plunkett & Herman Cappelen - 2020 - In Herman Cappelen, David Plunkett & Alexis Burgess (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 1-26.
Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics.Herman Cappelen, David Plunkett & Alexis Burgess (eds.) - 2019 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.

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