Ecological understanding - The nature of theory and the theory of nature (2nd edition)

Steward Pickett, Jurek Kolasa, Clive Jones 
Academic Press  July 2007  

Hardcover  248 pp  ISBN 9780125545228      £42.00
This widely anticipated revision of the groundbreaking book, Ecological Understanding, updates this crucial sourcebook of contemporary philosophical insights for practicing ecologists and graduate students in ecology and environmental studies. The second edition contains new ecological examples, an expanded array of conceptual diagrams and illustrations, new text boxes summarizing important points or defining key terms, and new reference to philosophical issues and controversies. Although the first edition was recognized for its clarity, this revision takes the opportunity to make the exposition of complex topics still clearer to readers without a philosophical background.

Readers will gain an understanding of the goals of science, the structure of theory, the kinds of theory relevant to ecology, the way that theory changes, what constitutes objectivity in contemporary science, and the role of paradigms and frameworks for synthesis within ecology and in integration with other disciplines. Finally, how theory can inform and anchor the public use of ecological knowledge in civic debates is laid out.

This new edition refines the understanding of how the structure and change of theory can improve the growth and application of one of the 21st century's key sciences.

Of interest to researchers, faculty, graduate students and advanced undergraduates actively engaged in ecological research. This book is especially appropriate for advanced ecology seminar courses and should appeal to any ecologist.



Part I: Advancing the Discipline and Enhancing Applications

  • Integration in Ecology
  • Understanding in Ecology

Part II: The Nature of Theory

  • The Ontogeny of Theory
  • The Taxonomy of Theory

Part III: From Theory to Integration and Application

  • Fundamental Questions:Changes in Understanding
  • Integration and Synthesis

Part IV: Theory and Its Environment

  • Ecological Understanding and the Public
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