Chapter

DOES ECOLOGY HAVE LAWS?

Lev Ginzburg and Mark Colyvan

in Ecological Orbits

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780195168167
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199790159 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195168167.003.0002
DOES ECOLOGY HAVE LAWS?

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This chapter addresses the question of whether there are laws in ecology. Although there has been a great deal of recent interest in this topic, much of the relevant debate has been conducted under some common misconceptions about what laws of nature are. Once these misconceptions are cleared up, the case for ecology having laws is much stronger. Indeed, the chapter suggests that the case for laws in ecology is no better or worse than the case for laws in physics. It goes on to give some examples of candidate laws in ecology.

Keywords: laws of nature; laws of ecology; explanation; allometries

Chapter.  5598 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Pathology and Diseases

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