Method in Ecology: Strategies for Conservation

Front Cover
In this volume, the authors discuss what practical contributions ecology can and can't make in applied science and environmental problem solving. In the first section, they discuss conceptual problems that have often prevented the formulation and evaluation of powerful, precise, general theories, explain why island biogeography is still beset with controversy and examine the ways that science is value laden. In the second section, they describe how ecology can give us specific answers to practical environmental questions posed in individual case studies, and argue for a new way to look at scientific error. A case study using the Florida panther is examined in the light of these findings.
 

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Contents

2 Ecological concepts are problematic
11
3 Ecological theory is problematic
68
4 Ecological science is value laden
80
The logic of case studies
106
6 Ecology and a new account of rationality
149
7 Objections to ethical rationality in ecology
170
The Florida panther
198
9 Policy aspects of the Floridapanther case
240
10 Conclusions
279
References
289
Name index
316
Subject index
322
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About the author (1993)

Kristin Shrader-Frechette is distinguished research professor at the University of South Florida. She received her undergraduate degree in mathematics and physics, followed by a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame in 1971. She has also done postdoctoral work in biology, economics, and hydrogeology, and is currently editor of the Oxford University Press monograph series "Environmental Ethics and Science Policy." Most of Shrader-Frechette's work is in philosophy of science, environmental ethics, probabilistic risk assessment, and science policy. From 1971 until 1985, her theoretical research was on methodological and ethical problems associated with high-energy physics and welfare economics. Since 1984 her theoretical work has focused on methods in hydrogeology and in community ecology. Her more applied research deals with applications of probabilistic risk assessment and community ecology to environmental and technological problems. As a result, Shrader-Frechette's work addresses issues in nuclear ethics, environmental ethics, and the general ethics of technology.

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