Ecology Revisited: Reflecting on Concepts, Advancing Science / Edition 1

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More About This Textbook


As concerns about humankind’s relationship with the environment move inexorably up the agenda, this volume 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. The book 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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789048197439
  • Publisher: Springer Netherlands
  • Publication date: 3/29/2011
  • Edition description: 2011
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 444
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Part I: Design of the Handbook of Ecological Concepts

1. Why Write a Handbook of Ecological Concepts?
A. Schwarz, K. Jax

2. Structure of the Handbook
K. Jax, A. Schwarz

3. History of Concepts for Ecology
A. Schwarz

Part II: The Foundations of Ecology: Philosophical and Historical Perspectives

4. Multifaceted Ecology Between Organicism, Emergentism and Reductionism
D. Bergandi

5. The Classical Holism-Reductionism Debate in Ecology
L. Trepl, A. Voigt

Part III: About the Inner Structure of Ecology – Some Theses

6. Conceptualizing the Heterogeneity, Embeddedness, and Ongoing Restructuring That Make Ecological Complexity ‘Unruly’.
P. Taylor

7. A Few Theses Regarding the Inner Structure of Ecology.
G. Wiegleb

8. Dynamics in the Formation of Ecological Knowledge.
A. Schwarz

Part IV: Main Phases of the History of the Concept “Ecology”

9. Etymology and Original Sources of the Term “Ecology”
A. Schwarz, K. Jax

10. The Early Period of Word and Concept Formation
K. Jax, A. Schwarz

11. Competing Terms
K. Jax, A. Schwarz

12. Stabilizing a Concept
K. Jax

13. Formation of Scientific Societies
K. Jax

14. The Fundamental Subdivisions of Ecology
K. Jax, A. Schwarz

Part V: “Ecology”, Society and the Systems View in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Century

15. The Rise of Systems Theory in Ecology
A. Voigt

16. Ecology and the Environmental Movement
A. Jamison

17. Ecology and Biodiversity at the Beginning of the Twenty-first Century: Towards a New Paradigm?
P. Blandin

18. An Ecosystem View into the Twenty-first Century
W. Haber

Part VI: Local Conditions of Early Ecology

19. Early Ecology in the German-Speaking World Through WWII.
A. Schwarz, K. Jax

20. The History of Early British and US-American Ecology to 1950
R. McIntosh

21. The French Tradition in Ecology: 1820–1950
P. Matagne

22. Early History of Ecology in Spain, 1868–1936
S. Casado

23. Plant Community, Plantesamfund
P. Anker

24. Looking at Russian Ecology through the Biosphere Theory
G.S. Levit

Part VII: Border Zones of Scientific Ecology and Other Fields

25. Geography as Ecology
G. Hard

26. Border Zones of Ecology and the Applied Sciences
Y. Haila

27. Border Zones of Ecology and Systems Theory
E. Becker, B. Breckling

28. Economy, Ecology and Sustainability
J.M. Gowdy

Picture Credits Glossary Author Biography Author Index Subject Index

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