A Critique for Ecology / Edition 1

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Overview

This book offers a critique of contemporary ecology, which could be applied to any discipline. Author Peters contends that science is a device to offer information about nature through predictions, but that a substantial part of ecology cannot be science because it provides no concrete information and much of the rest of ecology provides data of such poor quality that it can only be called soft science. Although instances of these deficiencies have often been identified, the pervasiveness of the problem has not been fully acknowledged, nor have the similarities among different problem areas been appreciated. If ecology and environmental science are to grow to meet the needs of the present decade and next millennium, scientists in these fields will need much more acute critical abilities than they have yet demonstrated. Professor Peters argues specifically that a return to simple questions of fact, to observations, and to questions of general relevance to science and society can make ecology a useful, practical, and informative science, which is desperately needed to meet the problems of our age. This thought-provoking and perhaps controversial book will be of particular interest to ecologists, but all scientists, from undergraduates to senior academics and professionals, can benefit from reading it.

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Editorial Reviews

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"...an engaging (and occasionally enraging) book that we should all read, while reflecting on how it pertains to our particular subdisciplines. Not everyone will agree with Peters' analysis, nor his proposed solutions. No matter; the self-evaluation he inspires can only improve our science." Naomi Cappuccino, Ecology
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521395885
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/1991
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Crisis in ecology; 2. Criteria; 3. Tautology; 4. Operationalism of terms and concepts; 5. Explanatory science-reduction; 6. Cause and mechanism; 7. Historical explanation and understanding; 8. Weak predictions; 9. Checklist of problems; 10. Putting it together - competition; 11. Predictive ecology.

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