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Ecology Revisited: Reflecting on Concepts, Advancing Science

By: Astrid Schwarz(Editor), Kurt Jax(Editor)

444 pages, b/w figures, tables


Paperback | Nov 2014 | #221614 | ISBN-13: 9789400797383
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £149.99 $197/€170 approx
Hardback | Jan 2011 | #189141 | ISBN-13: 9789048197439
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £199.99 $263/€227 approx

About this book

As concerns about humankind's relationship with the environment move inexorably up the agenda, Ecology Revisited tells the story of the history of the concept of ecology itself and adds much to the historical and philosophical debate over this multifaceted discipline. The text provides readers with an overview of the theoretical, institutional and historical formation of ecological knowledge. The varied local conditions of early ecology are considered in detail, while epistemological problems that lie on the borders of ecology, such as disunity and complexity, are discussed.

Ecology Revisited traces the various phases of the history of the concept of ecology itself, from its 19th century origins and antecedents, through the emergence of the environmental movement in the later 20th century, to the future, and how ecology might be located in the environmental science framework of the 21st century. The study of 'ecological' phenomena has never been confined solely to the work of researchers who consider themselves ecologists. It is rather a field of knowledge in which a plurality of practices, concepts and theories are developed. Thus, there exist numerous disciplinary subdivisions and research programmes within the field, the boundaries of which remain blurred.

As a consequence, the deliberation to adequately identify the ecological field of knowledge, its epistemic and institutional setting, is still going on. This will be of central importance not only in locating ecology in the frame of 21st century environmental sciences but also for a better understanding of how nature and culture are intertwined in debates about pressing problems, such as climate change, the protection of species diversity, or the management of renewable resources.


Part I: Design of the Handbook of Ecological Concepts
1. Why Write a Handbook of Ecological Concepts?
2. Structure of the Handbook
3. History of Concepts for Ecology

Part II: The Foundations of Ecology: Philosophical and Historical Perspectives
4. Multifaceted Ecology Between Organicism, Emergentism and Reductionism
5. The Classical Holism-Reductionism Debate in Ecology

Part III: About the Inner Structure of Ecology - Some Theses
6. Conceptualizing the Heterogeneity, Embeddedness, and Ongoing Restructuring That Make Ecological Complexity 'Unruly'
7. A Few Theses Regarding the Inner Structure of Ecology
8. Dynamics in the Formation of Ecological Knowledge

Part IV: Main Phases of the History of the Concept "Ecology"
9. Etymology and Original Sources of the Term "Ecology"
10. The Early Period of Word and Concept Formation
11. Competing Terms
12. Stabilizing a Concept
13. Formation of Scientific Societies
14. The Fundamental Subdivisions of Ecology

Part V: "Ecology", Society and the Systems View in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Century
15. The Rise of Systems Theory in Ecology
16. Ecology and the Environmental Movement
17. Ecology and Biodiversity at the Beginning of the Twenty-first Century: Towards a New Paradigm?
18. An Ecosystem View into the Twenty-first Century

Part VI: Local Conditions of Early Ecology
19. Early Ecology in the German-Speaking World Through WWII
20. The History of Early British and US-American Ecology to 1950
21. The French Tradition in Ecology: 1820-1950
22. Early History of Ecology in Spain, 1868-1936
23. Plant Community, Plantesamfund
24. Looking at Russian Ecology through the Biosphere Theory

Part VII: Border Zones of Scientific Ecology and Other Fields
25. Geography as Ecology
26. Border Zones of Ecology and the Applied Sciences
27. Border Zones of Ecology and Systems Theory
28. Economy, Ecology and Sustainability

Picture Credits
Author Biography
Author Index
Subject Index

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