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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

The Relationship Between Mathematical Expression And Biological Insight: Some Issues In Community Ecology Modeling, Exemplified By The Logistic Equation, Peter J. Taylor Aug 1985

The Relationship Between Mathematical Expression And Biological Insight: Some Issues In Community Ecology Modeling, Exemplified By The Logistic Equation, Peter J. Taylor

Working Papers on Science in a Changing World

The relationship between mathematical expression and biological insight is a central problem for modelers in community ecology. In this paper I distinguish three interpretations of this relationship: models as redescriptions as observations; models as capturing fundamental or generative biological relations; and models as an aid in exploring how to formulate the inquiries we put to nature. I aim to show that we can reduce ambiguities and confusion and ecological theory if we hold the different interpretations clearly in mind. I conclude by advancing an overall strategy of model building—de/composition—in which each of the interpretations plays a role ...


Apparent Interactions In Community Models: A Challenge For Theoretical Ecology, Peter J. Taylor Aug 1985

Apparent Interactions In Community Models: A Challenge For Theoretical Ecology, Peter J. Taylor

Working Papers on Science in a Changing World

The primary aim of this working paper is to challenge theoretical ecologists to clarify the intended status of any simple model that they use. If we restrict our attention to a subcommunity and treat it as if it were the full community, we need to invoke apparent interactions that incorporate the effects of unspecified or hidden variables as well as direct interactions. This position resembles that of previous discussions of apparent competition (Holt 1977), indirect effects (Lawlor 1979), and ecological abstraction (Schaffer 1981), but my definition of apparent interactions differs from those stated or implied by these authors. I advance ...


Evolution At A Crossroads: The New Biology And The New Philosophy Of Science, David Depew, Bruce Weber Dec 1984

Evolution At A Crossroads: The New Biology And The New Philosophy Of Science, David Depew, Bruce Weber

David J Depew

No abstract provided.