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The Aim and Structure of Ecological Theory

Weber, Marcel (1999) The Aim and Structure of Ecological Theory. Philosophy of Science, 66. pp. 71-93. ISSN 1539-767X

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Abstract

I present an attempt at an explication of the ecological theory of interspecific competi-tion, including its explanatory role in community ecology and evolutionary biology. The account given is based on the idea that law-like statements play an important role in sci-entific theories of this kind. I suggest that the principle of competitive exclusion is such a law, and that it is evolutionarily invariant. The principle’s empirical status is defended and implications for the ongoing debates on the existence of biological laws are dis-cussed.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Weber, Marcelmarcel.weber@unige.ch
Keywords: Ecology, competition, competitive exclusion principle, laws in biology, evolutionary contigency thesis, contrastive explanation, ceteris paribus clauses
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Ecology/Conservation
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Depositing User: Prof. Marcel Weber
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2023 17:40
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2023 17:40
Item ID: 21644
Journal or Publication Title: Philosophy of Science
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1086/392677
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Ecology/Conservation
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Date: 1999
Page Range: pp. 71-93
Volume: 66
ISSN: 1539-767X
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/21644

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