PhilSci Archive

Ecological Kinds and Ecological Laws

Mikkelson, Gregory M. (2002) Ecological Kinds and Ecological Laws. [Preprint]

[img] Microsoft Word (.doc)
Download (122Kb)


    Ecologists typically invoke "lawlike" generalizations, ranging over "structural" and/or "functional" kinds, in order to explain generalizations about "historical" kinds (such as biological taxa) rather than vice versa. This practice is justified, since structural and functional kinds tend to correlate better with important ecological phenomena than do historical kinds. I support these contentions with three recent case studies. In one sense, then, ecology is, and should be, more nomothetic, or law-based, than ideographic, or historically-based. This conclusion challenges several recent philosophical claims about the nature of ecological science.

    Export/Citation:EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
    Social Networking:

    Item Type: Preprint
    Keywords: Laws of Nature, Ecology, Systematics, Biology, Conservation, Natural Kinds
    Conferences and Volumes: [2002] Philosophy of Science Assoc. 18th Biennial Mtg - PSA 2002: Contributed Papers (Milwaukee, WI; 2002) > PSA 2002 Contributed Papers
    Depositing User: Program Committee
    Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2003
    Last Modified: 13 Sep 2015 11:47
    Item ID: 1087

    Actions (login required)

    View Item

    Document Downloads