Ecology is indispensable to understanding the biological world and addressing the environmental problems humanity faces. Its philosophy has never been more important. In The Philosophy of Ecology, James Justus introduces readers to the philosophically rich issues ecology poses. Besides its crucial role in biological science generally, climate change, biodiversity loss, and other looming environmental challenges make ecology's role in understanding such threats and identifying solutions to them all the more critical. When ecology is applied and its insights marshalled to address these problems and guide policy formation, interesting philosophical issues emerge. Justus sets them out in detail, and explores the often ethically charged dimensions of applied ecological science, using accessible language and a wealth of scientifically informed examples.
Introduction: Why Philosophy of Ecology?
1. The Ecological Niche
2. Distinctively Ecological Laws and the Reality of Biological Communities
3. The Balance of Nature
4. Modeling in Ecology: Representation and Reduction
6. Progress in Applied Ecology
7. Fact and Value in Applied Ecology
James Justus is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University. He has written numerous book chapters and journal articles on the philosophy of biology, the history of analytic philosophy and general philosophy of science.