Holism and reductionism in biology and ecology: the mutual dependence of higher and lower level research programmes
Holism and reductionism are traditionally seen as incompatible views or approaches to nature. Here Looijen argues that they should rather be seen as mutually dependent and hence co-operating research programmes. He sheds some interesting new light on the emergence thesis, its relation to the reduction thesis, and on the role and status of functional explanations in biology. He discusses several examples of reduction in both biology and ecology, showing the mutual dependence of holistic and reductionist research programmes. Ecologists are offered separate chapters, clarifying some major, yet highly and controversial ecological concepts, such as `community', `habitat', and `niche'. The book is the first in-depth study of the philosophy of ecology. Readership: Specialists in the philosophy of science, especially the philosophy of biology, biologists and ecologists interested in the philosophy of their discipline. Also of interest to other scientists concerned with the holism-reductionism issue.
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Holism and reductionism
Reduction of laws and theories
Reduction of concepts
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Holism and Reductionism in Biology and Ecology: The Mutual Dependence of ...
Rick C. Looijen
No preview available - 2010
abiotic allostery Artemisia maritima biocoenosis biology biotic biotope Bohr effect boundary problem causal explanation chapter character displacement chemical bonding coexistence communities and ecosystems community boundaries community types competitive exclusion component concept reductions concrete Connor and Simberloff controversy correlation defined definition Diamond different species ecologists ecology ecosystems effect emergent properties emergentism environment environmental example factors functional explanations gerardii Glasser and Price groups of populations guide programme H2O molecules habitat differentiation hemoglobin hemoglobin molecules hence heterogeneous holistic and reductionistic hypothesis individuals interactions between species interspecific competition islands Juncus gerardii Kuipers Kuipers's law or theory laws and theories levels of organization Lotka/Volterra model maritima micro-reduction micro-theory modern niche theory molecular Nagel niche concept niche differentiation niche overlap number of species occur oxygen plant communities population boundaries potential niche predation realized niche reducing theory reductionistic research programmes respect result set of resources species composition structure supertramps systems ecology thesis Tilman trophic level whole