Conceptual Issues in Ecology

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Esa Saarinen
Springer Science & Business Media, Jun 30, 1982 - Philosophy - 374 pages
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In this collection of essays, some of the leading ecologists and philosophers discuss the foundations of ecology and evolutionary biology. While large scale philosophical convictions and attitudes often direct the theorist's line of concrete action in data collection and in theory information, the founda tional convictions typically remain tacit, and are seldom argued for. The present collection aims to remedy this situation. It brings together scholars representing different approaches in a joint effort to explicate and analyse some of the key issues underlying ecological theorizing, be they conceptual, epistemological or ontological. The bulk of the present collection is reprinted from Synthese 43 (1980). William C. Wimsatt's paper 'Reductionistic Research Strategies and Their Biases in the Units of Selection Controversy' is in turn reprinted from T. Nickles (ed.) Scientific Discovery: Case Studies (D. Reidel, 1980). It appears here with the kind permission of Prof. Nickles. The publisher's consent for the reprints has been in each case automatic. The essays of Y rjo Haila and Olli Jarvinen, and of Leigh M. Van Valen appear here for the first time. In bringing the present collection together, as well as in editing the Synthese symposium on which it is based, I have greatly benefited from the suggestions of Professors Marjorie Grene, Olli J iirvinen and Daniel Simberloff. In addition to them, I wish to thank all the contributors for their interest in this project.

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MARJORIE GRENE A Note on Simberloffs Succession of Para
WIMSATT Reductionistic Research Strategies
T R E SOUTHWOOD FRS Ecology A Mixture of Pattern
DONALD R STRONG JR Null Hypotheses in Ecology
YRJO HAILA and OLLI JARVINEN The Role of Theoretical Con
WIMSATT Randomness and PerceivedRandomness
VAN VALEN Why Misunderstand the Evolutionary Half
A ROSS KIESTER Natural Kinds Natural History and Ecology

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About the author (1982)

Raimo P. Hamalainen is professor and director of the Systems Analysis Laboratory and co-director of the Systems Intelligence Research Group at Aalto University Finland, He is an internationally acknowledged scholar in systems and decision making with over 200 scientific publications. He has helped to solve complex environmental policy problems with governmental agencies including the Parliament of Finland. He has been a visiting scholar at major international universities including MIT, UCLA, UC Berkley, National University of Singapore and University of Cape Town. He has a passion for outdoor life including fishing, sailing snowboarding and backcountry skiing.

Rachel Jones received her education in New Zealand. She holds two PhDs, the first in English literature and the second in Knowledge Management. She has gained multicultural experience while working as an English language teacher and a university lecturer in Australia, Japan and New Zealand. She also spent time working for Aalto University's Systems Analysis Laboratory (Finland) as a research fellow. Currently, Rachel works freelance as a researcher and consultant. Her latest areas of interest are health and safety culture in organizations and exploring different models of retirement. She has several publications in academic journals, including in the field of Systems Intelligence. In her free time, she enjoys reading, camping and fishing.

Esa Saarinen is a Finnish philosopher, and life-philosophical lecturer, inspirational speaker, professor of applied philosophy at Aalto University and co-director of the Systems Intelligence Research Group. A national celebrity noted for his colorful media appearances and highly personal and non-academic lecturing style, Esa has helped to make philosophy a recognized part of Finnish public life. In addition to his interventions in media and in education, he has worked extensively as a coach for organizations and companies such as Nokia and Marimekko, promoting a doctrine of positive self-actualization. He is a prolific author of books who has written on a wide range of subjects including philosophical textbooks, history of western philosophy, scholarly research papers, and the volume Imagologies: Media Philosophy (1994), with Mark C. Taylor, an early discussion of the internet.

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